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Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Nairs / Nayars

It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!


It was the establishment of the English rule that brought in peace in the subcontinent. Even inside this miniscule Malabar region, there were many small-time and relatively bigger kingdoms. Each and every one of them was incessantly in a state of perpetual warfare. And inside each of the ruling families, individual members staked their claims based on various connections, to the kingship. No one experienced any length of time of peace.

Nagam Aiya has mentioned this point very frankly in his Travancore State Manual.

QUOTE: “It is the power of the British sword, “as has been well observed,” which secures to the people of India the great blessings of peace and order which were unknown through many weary centuries of turmoil, bloodshed and pillage before the advent of the Briton in India”. END OF QUOTE

About the Malabar location and nearby areas he mentions this much also:

QUOTE: It is quite possible that in the never-ending wars of those days between neighbouring powers, Chera, Chola and Pandya Kings might have by turns appointed Viceroys of their own to rule over the different divisions of Chera, one of whom might have stuck to the southernmost portion, called differently at different times, by the names of Mushika- Khandom, Kupa-Khandom, Venad, Tiruppapur, Tiru-adi-desam or Tiruvitancode, at first as an ally or tributary of the senior Cheraman Perumal — titular emperor of the whole of Chera — but subsequently as an independent ruler himself. This is the history of the whole of India during the time of the early Hindu kings or under the Moghul Empire. The history of every district in Southern India bears testimony to a similar state of affairs.

QUOTE: The Nawab of Tinnevelly was nominally the agent of the Nawab of Arcot, who was himself ruling the Carnatic in the name of the Delhi Padisha; but beyond a mere name there was nothing in the relationship showing real obedience to a graded or central Imperial authority.

QUOTE: The Nawab of Tinnevelly himself co-existed with scores of independent Poligai’s all over the District, collecting their own taxes, building their own forts, levying and drilling their own troops of war, their chief recreation consisting in the plundering of innocent ryots all over the country or molesting their neighbouring Poligars.

QUOTE: The same story was repeated throughout all the States under the Great Moghul. In fact never before in the history of India has there been one dominion for the whole of the Indian continent from the Himalayas to the Cape, guided by one policy, owing allegiance to one sovereign-power and animated by one feeling of patriotism to a common country, as has been seen since the consolidation of the British power in India a hundred years ago. END OF QUOTE

This was a fact of life in the subcontinent since times immemorial. Beyond all this was the fact that people were simply caught and taken as slaves or sold off as slaves. There were many problems with the life of women.

Then, English rule came. There was peace. However, in the settled social life, another danger started poking its head. It was the imminent rise of the lower castes and classes. For the Nairs, the most dangerous content was the Thiyyas.

It is like a team of police constables in a police station. The local taxi-drivers are their subordinate lower-castes. They can address them as any kind of dirt. They are the Nee / Inhi and Avan / Oan.

Suddenly all of a sudden, there comes a change of scene. On the social front, there emerges a small group of taxi-drivers who come with a higher demeanour than the others. They do not accept the lower-grading assigned to them by the constables and the government. Due to the fact that these taxi-drivers are of a superior mien, the constables somehow bear the terribleness of an equality and dignity in the taxi-drivers.

Now, comes the next issue. Seeing the higher demeanour and rights of these superior class taxi-drivers, the other taxi-drivers also start acting in a pose beyond their traditional stance of inferiority. This is too much for the constables. For, they are used to seeing the taxi-drivers as a cringing lot. (In fact, I have seen commercial lorry drivers being made to beg holding on the legs of peon-level officials of the sales tax in a border check-post in a middle-Indian state).

But then what can the constables do? In the new system, they can’t beat or slap the taxi-drivers into submission. So what do they do? The go around writing their superior stance wherever they get a chance. They see to it that the taxi-drivers are not mentioned at all. Or if at all mentioned, connect them to some other taxi-drivers in another state where the taxi-drivers are treated as dirt.

Whenever a mention of the local village taxi-drivers is made, simply add a reference to the taxi-drivers of the other state where they still are treated as obnoxious objects.

Beyond that in places where they would not be disputed they would claim to be officers. The bare fact the Indian policemen were traditionally termed as ‘shipai’ would be given the go-by. Why? Because it is nowadays heard by them that in the US, the police constable is called an ‘officer’. So by going that roundabout route, they arrive at the officer grade.

However, it might also be mentioned that this issue will crop up only when the taxi-drivers get a feeling that the constables are their equals. Other-wise they do not think about these things and are perfectly happy with what they have, if they are otherwise happy.

Now, let us look into what has been the claims of the Nair folks in this book. Even though these things are ostensibly written by William Logan, they are not.

One of the very evident points is that in the location where William Logan has directly written, that is the location of history writing, especially where the records of the English Factory in Tellicherry is taken up, the Nairs are quite differently defined and mentioned. There is not anything spectacular or courageous in the Nair quality. In fact, even the word ‘peon’ is mentioned about them. The word ‘Kolkar’ is also mentioned as a peon.

In the Travancore areas, which is far south of Malabar, I had noticed a very frantic desperation on the part of the Nairs there to mention and define themselves as Kshatriyas. Various kinds of logic and historical incidences are mentioned by them to define themselves as Kshatriyas, far removed from the Ezhavas who exist just below them; and who try their level best to equate them downwards. The Nairs used to assign verbal comparisons on Ezhavas, which the latter find derogatory.

The Ezhavas take pain to mention them as Sudras. Thereby giving a hint that the Nairs are actually low-castes. However, the truth remains that the Nairs are not low-caste, if one were to go by the route of bloodline. And by mental demeanour also, they refuse to be low-caste. I will leave that there. My interest here is to illuminate the terrors that the feudal language codes have inspired in the people.

It is not easy to very categorically mention which all parts of the book are the direct writings of William Logan, which are more or less the inputs of the natives of the subcontinent. Some of the names of the native individuals who have made writing contributions are given in the book. Two names are mentioned by him in the Preface to Volume 1. They are: Messrs. O. Cannan, ex-Deputy Collector and Kunju Menon, Subordinate Judge.

The reader may note that in the 1800, these officials were not native-Brits, but more or less the natives of the subcontinent. Even though this might seem a very powerful plus point, in actual fact, the quality of the native-English administration goes down at the locations where the relatively senior officials are from the cantankerous native-population groups. However, that is another point, not of context here.

The descriptive notes on the various Taluks are seen to have been done by Messrs. Chappu Menon, B.A., C. Kunhi Kannan and P. Karunakara Menon. Of these three, both the Menons are obviously from the Nayar caste. As to the previously mentioned O. Cannan, ex-Deputy Collector and C Kunhi Kannan, there is nothing to denote their caste. Both the names are seen to be used by both the Nayars as well as by the Thiyyas, in the 1900s.

Why this pointed seeking of caste is done is that in a feudal language social ambience, persons are not actually individual entities. They are simply part and parcel of huge strings and webs of associations and hierarchies. It is quite difficult to be a free-thinker in the way an Englishman can be. Most or many words in the native feudal-language have a direction code of affiliation, loyalty, hierarchical position, command and obedience. More detailed examination of this point has been done in the afore-mentioned An Impressionistic History of the South Asian Subcontinent.

I think this might be the right occasion to mention a few words about individual names in the Malabar region (especially the north Malabar region, for south Malabar antiquity is relatively more obscure for me). Thiyya individual names traditionally are like this: Pokkan, Nanu, Koman, Chathu, Kittan &c. for males. For females, it is Chirutha, Chirutheyi, Pokki, Pirukku, Cheeru, Mathu etc.

It is possible that some of these names were used by the Nairs also. What that is supposed to hint at is not known to me. However, speaking about names, there is this bit to be mentioned. On a very casual reading of the various Deeds given in this book, a lot of individual names of the Nairs and the castes above them were seen. It was quite obvious that very few of them had any deep connection with the Sanskrit or Brahmanical names, that are currently used in great abundance by everyone.

I am giving a few of the names* I found in the various deeds. Quite obviously none of them are of the castes below the Nairs:

Achattഅച്ചത്ത്, Appunni അപ്പുണ്ണി, Candan കണ്ടൻ, Chadayan ചടയൻ, Chakkan ചക്കൻ, Chandu ചന്തു, Chattan ചട്ടൻ, ChattaRaman ചട്ട രാമൻ, Chattu ചാത്തു, Chekkunniചേക്കുണ്ണി, Chennan ചേനൻ, Cherunni ചെറുണ്ണി, Chingan ചിങ്കൻ, Chiraman ചിരമൻ, Chokkanathan ചൊക്കനാധൻ, Chumaran ചുമരൻ, Coteiകോട്ടായി, Ellappa ഇള്ളപ്പ, Iluvan ഇലുവൻ, IraviCorttan ഇരവികോർട്ടൻ, Itti ഇട്ടി, Ittikombi ഇട്ടിക്കൊമ്പി, Kammal കമ്മൾ, Kammaran കമ്മരൻ, Kanakkam കനക്കം, Kannanകണ്ണൻ, Kandan കണ്ടൻ, Kandu കണ്ടു, Karunnukki കരുനുക്കി, Kelan കേളൻ, Kelappa കേളപ്പ, Kelu കേളു, Kittanan കിട്ടണൻ, Kokka കൊക്ക, Kondu കൊണ്ടു, Kora കോര, Koran കൊരൻ, Korappen കോരപ്പൻ, Korissan കൊരിസൻ, Kunchiamma കുഞ്ചിയമ്മ, Kunhan കുഞ്ഞൻ, Kunka കുങ്ക, Manichan മണിച്ചൻ, Makkachar മക്കച്ചാർ, Murkhan മൂർഖൻ, Mutta മുട്ട / മൂത്ത, Muttatu മൂത്തത്, Nakan നകൻ, Nambi** നമ്പി, Nanganeli നങ്കനല്ലി, Nangayya നങ്കയ്യ, Nangeli നങ്കേലി, Nantiyarvalli നാട്ടിയാർവള്ളി, Okki ഒക്കി, Pachchi പച്ചി, Paman പമൻ, Panku പങ്കു, Pangi പങ്കി, Pappu പപ്പു, Patteri പട്ടേരി (ഭട്ടതിരി), Raru രാരു, Rayaran രയരൻ, Rayiru രയിരു, Teyyan തെയ്യൻ, Thoppu തൊപ്പു, Valli വള്ളി, Velu വേലു, Viyatan വിതയൻ, Yamma യമ്മ.

* In the Malayalam transliteration given of the names, there can be errors.

** Nambi is a caste title also, commonly seen in Travancore. However, in Malabar, it seems to have been used as a name also.

Some of these names are seen suffixed with such names as Nair, Menon, Kurup, Nambiyar etc. in the case of the Nayar-level people. Some of the higher castes above them were seen to have family names and other titles added either as suffixes or prefixes. Some the Nair level individuals also might have them.

Inside the historical section also, the names of the Nairs are found to be of similar content. For instance, there is the name one Yemen Nair mentioned in the history of the minute Kottayam kingdom. Yemen literally means the God of Death. I do not know if there is any error in the name’s meaning given, that entered through a erroneous transliteration of the word ‘Yemen’.

Now, it may be mentioned here that Nairs / Nayars are not actually one single caste. There is a hierarchy among them also. It is more or less a hierarchy of population groups holding on to a solid frame, that holds them all above the swirling waters in which the lower castes are submerged. They have to hold tightly to the frame, in such a way the each layers does not kick the lower down into the water. For this, they should not try to fight for a higher step among the various Nair layers. For, if they lose their grip, the lower castes would immediately pull them down among them or even push them down below them.

This action of pulling down is not a physical action. It simply consists of changing the words of addressing and referring to a lower indicant word. Simply put, if the lower caste man or woman or child changes the higher He/Him (i.e. Oar ഓര്) to a lower level he / him (i.e. Oan ഓൻ), the person would come crashing down into the lower caste swirling waters.

Since I have mentioned the various Deeds, there is one thing that comes to my mind now. It is that Deeds can actually be a rich source of social communication and feudal language hierarchy information. However William Logan does not seem to be very keenly interested in pursuing this idea, even though there are hints in this book that he did feel its presence, without understanding what it is.

It is like this: To around the 1970s, in Malabar land registration documents, there was a very specific communication direction found to be enforced. It is that in sale deed between a Nair and a Thiyya man, for instance, the Thiyya man is invariably addressed as a Nee (lowest You) while the Nair man is addressed as a Ningal / Ingal (Ingal ഇങ്ങൾ is the highest You in Malabari – not in Malayalam).

It goes without saying that the words for He and Him and also for She and Her would also be likewise arranged as per caste hierarchy. This topic is quite a huge one and I do not propose to pursue it here. However, even though in this book a lot of Deeds of yore have been placed for inspection, the book writers do seem to have only a very shallow information on what all things need to be looked for. In fact, they are totally unaware of the deeper content that designs the social structure and human relationships.

From this perspective, this book has a lot of shallowness. However, it must also be said that there is a lot of very good information also in this book. The only thing is that the reader needs to know what to look for; and to be aware of what all things might be totally missed, or laid bare without explanations.

A lot of information is lying in a scattered manner all around the book. If possible, I will try to assemble the information in very logical groupings.

It is quite possible that the main persons who interfered and influenced the writings in this book were from the Nair caste. It is only natural that they would be quite apprehensive about what inputs are there about the Nairs. In this book, almost everywhere, the Nairs are described in the superlative. Only in the specific areas where Logan himself more or less wrote the text, they are differently described. In fact, in this particular location, the descriptions about the Nairs are of the negative kind.

One thing that might be noticed in this book is that there are certain very specific ideas or information that is tried to be emphasised as true. To this end, almost all historical information are filtered out. Moreover many words from antiquity are mentioned as having changed to certain other words, which then seems to help prove the contentions. I can mention a few. However, let me focus on the word ‘Nair’ here.

See these quotes:

1. The Nayars (so styled from a Sanskrit word signifying leader, in the honorific plural lord, and in ordinary sense soldier) were the “protectors” of the country, and, as such, crystallised readily into the existing caste of Nayars, with numerous branches.

2. Aryans ................... had perforce to acknowledge as “protectors” the aboriginal ruling race,- the Nayars — whom they designated as “Sudras” but in reality treated as Kshatriyas. END OF QUOTES

There is the word ‘Chera’, which is mentioned many times in connection with a ruling family of this land. This word has been mentioned in many ways. One is that it is another pronunciation of Kera. Which more or less, then authenticates the name Kerala. This is the way the argument goes.

However, the very elemental idea that could be picked up from this word is that Chera in the native languages of the area, means the Rat Snake. Why this very first impression is avoided is not known.

However, there is the mention of this land being full of serpents. See these quotes from Malabar State Manual written by Nagam Aiya.

It is actually based on the Keralolpathi, I think:

QUOTE:.....the land newly reclaimed from the sea was a most inhospitable region to live in, being already occupied by fearful Nagas, a race of hill-tribes who drove the Brahmins back to their own lands. Parasurama persevered again and again bringing hosts of Brahmins more from every part of India to settle in and colonise his new land; the Nagas were propitiated under his orders by a portion of the land being given to them and thus his own Brahmin colonists and the Nagas lived side by side without molesting each other. And by way of conciliation and concession to the old settlers (Nagas who were serpent-worshippers), Parasurama ordered his own colonists to adopt their form of worship, and thus serpent-worship on this coast early received Parasurama’s sanction. These Nagas became the Kiriathu Nayars of later Malabar claiming superiority in rank and status over the rest of the Malayali Sudras of the west coast.

Parasurama also brought other Sudras, to whom he assigned the duty of cultivating the land and otherwise serving the Brahmin colonists. These Sudras were in addition to the Nayars, the early settlers, who had been conciliated and won over as servants and tenants as shown above. He also brought cattle and other animals for agricultural purposes. END OF QUOTE

This is one point. So for the sake for an intellectual point, it might be mentioned that the word Nayar actually originates from Naganmar. That is, the Naga people. The word Naga means Serpents, which actually is connected to Cobra. The word ‘nayar’ then might not have the celestial standard meaning of social leadership and control and patrolling and protection of the people that is simply mentioned all over the book, Malabar, purportedly written by William Logan.

Beyond that, there is also the mention of them being Sudras and also not Sudras. For they were Nagas. However, they were the serving classes of the Brahmins. Similar to the police shipais of Kerala police. This was the designation of the police constables in the state. Shipai means peon. However, as of now, they have been redefined as the ‘officers’. Then, who are the ‘officers’ of the police department might become a debatable point in the near future.

Not many persons would dare to stake up such a point. For, mentioning such a think about the police constables can be very, very dangerous.

There is this information which I saw in Native Life in Travancore: QUOTE: The last-named place (Nagpore) is said by Sir W. Elliott to be called after the Nags, a race of Scythian lineage, who invaded India about 600 B.C., and had the figure of a snake as their national emblem and standard. END OF QUOTE

Whether the Nagas of Malabar had anything to do with the above people, also is not debated here.

Connecting back to the Nayars, there is enough and more mention that they are the Barons of the land! That is another nonsensical claim. The nonsense is in the idea that the entities in the subcontinent can be compared to anything in a native-English land.

There is again this quote from Travancore State Manual:

QUOTE: The serpent figures are most common in Travancore and the ‘Kavu’ or abode of serpents, where images of serpents are set up and worshipped, is to be invariably seen in the garden of every Nayar house. END OF QUOTE.

Now, going ahead on the Serpent worship route, there is this quote again from the Travancore State Manual:


But these Dravidians themselves had already come under the influence of the serpent-worshippers of the north. END OF QUOTE.

There is some discrepancy in this statement. First of all the Serpent worship is earlier mentioned as native to this land. Then why an influence from the northern parts of the subcontinent?

Then this statement does seem to hint that the Hindu religion, the Brahmanical religion or the Vedic religion does have an antiquity of Serpent worship. I am not sure if this claim, if it is there, is true. Or could it be mentioning the Naga worshippers who not really from the Brahmanical religion?

Lord Siva is seen to have a Serpent or a Cobra on his head. But then, I think Lord Siva is not a major God of the Vedic religion. The major gods of the Vedic religion seems to be Indra, Varuna, Agni &c. I am not an expert in these things. It does however, seem to delineate an idea that Vedic Hinduism is different from popular Hinduism, in which the divine Trinity consists of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. I will leave it at this point.

It is true that in the Nair / Nayar households, serpent worship or rather Cobra worship was quite rampant. In fact, it is seen mentioned in such book as Native-life in Travancore that the various land or house-sale deeds do include the mention of the cobra family living inside the household or in the compound or Sarpakkavu (Serpent shrine) in the transfer.

In some of the Deeds copies given in this book, there is mention of Cobras being transferred.

QUOTE from Deed no.13 in this book, Malabar: In this way (ഇന്മാർക്കമെ) the good and bad stones (കല്ലും കരടു), stump of nux vomica (കാഞ്ഞിരകുറ്റി) the front side and back side (മുമ്പുംപിമ്പും) ? thorns (മുള്ളു), cobras (മൂർക്കൻപാമ്പു്), hidden treasure and the vessel in which it is secured (വെപ്പും ചെപ്പു), and water included in the four boundaries of the said house (വീടു്) are granted as Attipper and water by settling the price. END OF QUOTE

Beyond that Rev. Samuel Mateer mentions that the Cobras are quite tame in the households and do not attack anyone other than when trodden upon.

It may be noted that in the traditional names of Nayars, there is a name Murkhan. I find it in the first Deed given in this book. The Deed is connected to the assigning of many liberties to the Jews, by Bhaskara Ravi Varman, (wielding the sceptre and ruling for many 100,000 years). The name is Murkhan Chattan. The line is thus: Thus do I know Murkhan Chattan, commanding the Eastern Army.

It is quite inconceivable that anyone would assume the name of Murkhan (Cobra) nowadays, other than as some fancy tile. However, there is indeed a great tradition of reverence to the Cobras in the Nayar family antiquity.

Moving on the name issue route, I just remembered a curious film in Malayalam. It is a story on the prisoners kept in Andaman & Nicobar Island’s Cellular jail. The main character of the film is a doctor by name Govardhan Menon. It is a Malayalam Superstar who acts as this protagonist. The people in the film including the hero do not have the real looks and personality of the people of Malabar or Travancore of those times.

The name of the hero itself is terrific. Dr. Govardan Menon. Not any of the names I have placed above. The film depicts the British as terrible rulers. Every terrible torture methods that are used by the Indian police and other uniformed forces nowadays are placed on the British.

The next point is the Cellular Jail’s terrible administer is an Irishman. Not an Englishman. The problem in this is that when speaking about the British cruelty all over the world, one of the most invariable contentions is about the British cruelty to the Irish. The shooting done by the British army commander in Amritsar, the Jallianwalabagh shooting was the handiwork of an Irish officer. Not an Englishman. However, it must be admitted that he saved the lives of at least one million people by his pre-emptive shooting. For more on this, check Shrouded Satanism in feudal languages – Chapter Seventy Four.

Then there is the issue of the doctor being from the Menon caste. There was actually a huge rebellion going on in Travancore against the Nairs and higher castes. Actually the lower castes and the Nairs literally took to streetfighting which had to be brought into control by the Travancore police by crushing down the lower castes. Menons come under the Nair caste.

QUOTE from Travancore State Manual: During the administration of Col. Munro, a Circular order was issued permitting the women referred to, to cover their bodies with jackets (kuppayam) like the women of Syrian Christians, Moplas, and such others, but the Native (lower-caste converted) Christian females would not have anything less than the apparel of the highest castes. So they took the liberty of appearing in public not only with the kuppayam already sanctioned, but with an additional cloth or scarf over the shoulders as worn by the women of the higher castes. These pretensions of the Shanar convert women were resented by the high-caste Nayars and other Sudras who took the law into their own hands and used violence to those who infringed long-standing custom and caste distinctions. END OF QUOTE

Actually around 1820, something quite similar to the Mappilla revolt against the Hindus (Brahmins) and the Nayars in South Malabar, took place in Travancore. It is generally called the Channar Lahala or Channar revolt. The lower castes including their women took to the streets demanding more freedom. This sense of freedom was due to the entry of the English Missionaries in the kingdom.

This mood for demanding more rights continued in a forked manner. The converted-to-Christian lower-castes more or less had the Christian Church to lead them to a more placid living condition. The non-converted lower castes remained under the Hindus, who were not very keen that their slave castes and semi-slave castes should improve. Their fury ultimately boiled over at Punnapra and Vayalar villages, where they beat to death a Travancore kingdom police Inspector who had gone to mediate with them. The feudal language codes literally triggered the homicidal mania. This killing more or less created a mood for vengeance among the policemen and they went berserk. They came and shot dead whoever they could find in those areas, who was a lower caste.

The next point that comes into my mind is a terrific scene in the film. One local slave-man of the native feudal lords being commanded by the local landlord to bend and show this back for an English official to step on. I am yet know about this kind of customs among the Englishmen.

The last point is the doctor’s assertion that an ‘Indian’s back is not for an English / British man to step on. Giving the ample hint that the slaves of the subcontinent, since times immemorial, for the local feudal classes to manhandle and kick.

Persons with some understanding of what really took place during the English rule will not believe such nonsense stories brought out in Indian films.

However, a few hours back one of my readers sent me a Whatsapp message with a quote from someone in some online chat:

QUOTE: ... don't u see the movie, Kala pani ,about the life of people who lived at the time of British India. Please see and do has a fantastic story line and has been made amazingly which reveals the atrocities being faced during the reign of british END OF QUOTE. No attempt has been made to correct the erroneous spelling and grammar in the English text in the comment.

I am placing a pixelated image of the Doctor and his companions in that movie. For, it might not be good to use the original picture of the film stars in a book that mention their story as false.

Now, look at the lower castes who were escaping hundreds of years of terror under these higher castes. The Doctor? Who gave him the infrastructure to become a doctor? In Travancore, a Ezhava man was given the opportunity to learn Medicine by the London Missionary Society members. He even lived in England. However, when he came back and tried to get a government job as a doctor, he was hounded out. He had to get a job in British-India as a doctor.

Then what nonsense was this fake ‘Dr. Govardan Menon’ whining about? That he could no longer use pejoratives on his slaves?

Now coming back to the stream of the writing:

There is another thing to be mentioned about the Nair / Nayar connection. The caste is generally connected to the word Malayali in this book. Actually the word Malayali has a number of problems. For, there are actually three different locations in the subcontinent that has been mixed up to mean this word Malayali. I will have to take up that later.

Look at this QUOTE:

The Hindu Malayali is not a lover of towns and villages. His austere habits of caste purity and impurity made him in former days flee from places where pollution in the shape of men and women of low caste met him at every corner ; and even now the feeling is strong upon him and he loves not to dwell in cities. END OF QUOTE.

By context, the word ‘Malayali’ is used here in this book, Malabar, in the sense of Nayar. The deeper intent is to promote the idea that they are a very superior caste. However, that is true of the police constables also. They derive a lot of terror and fear and ‘respect’ from the people. They constables do not like the common people to be on a terms of equality with them. However, the constables are sill low-down in the police hierarchy.

There is over-statement in the various texts in the book that the Nayars were a sort of political (tara) organisation, with some kind of democratic features. Moreover, that they were the sort of guardians of the various freedoms of the people which they protected from being encroached by the rulers.


1. And probably the frantic fanatical rush of the Mappillas on British bayonets, which is not even yet a thing of the past, is the latest development of this ancient custom of the Nayars The influence of the tara organisation cannot be overrated in a political system tending always to despotism.

[My notes: Here the Mappilla daring is being connected to a purported valorous attitude of the Nayars in the Mahamakkam festival at Tirunavaya. The problem with this comparison is that the Nayar behaviour in that festival more or less display a lack of individuality. In that, the persons are prodded on to suicide as part of a senseless push of social codes. In the case of the Mappillas, it is something more personal. The triggers are switched on by some personal animosity. Beyond all that, the very mention of the British bayonets is a very cunning misleading statement. It would give an impression that the Mappilla anger was towards the English administration. It was not. It was directed towards the Nayars and the higher castes above them. The English administration was the scene as mere law and order enforcers.

The claim that the fanatical courage generally seen displayed by Islamic fighters in an attempt to achieve ‘martydom’ has been learned from Nayar ‘antiquity of valour’, is a foolish one.

2. when necessity existed, set at naught the authority of the Raja and punished his ministers when they did “unwarrantable acts.”

3. Each amsam or parish has now besides the Adhikari or man of authority, headman, an accountant or writer styled a Menon (literally, superior man), and two or more Kolkars (club men or peons), who between them manage the public affairs of the parish and are the local representatives of the Government. [

[My notes: The quote no. 3 will look fine in English. However, when the essential content of the local feudal languages is understood, the above quote could very easily be seen as of some kind of terrific Satanic content. There is a huge number of suppressed populations who literarily are confined to the levels of cattle under these ‘administrators’.]

4. The Jews and Syrians were by other deeds incorporated in the Malayali nation, and in the second of the Syrians’ deeds it is clear that the position assigned to them was that of equality with the Six Hundred” of the nad (that is, of the county).

[My notes: This is obviously another cunning statement of a different sort. The constable class has a very lot of power over the ‘cattle-class’ people under them. The Jews being a population from another location in Asia, were quite well aware about the dangers inherent in the local languages. They took very pre-emptive steps to see that they were not subordinated to the various lower placed populations here. Jews, I presume were quite cunning and intelligent everywhere)

I personally feel that both the Thiyyas immigrants to north Malabar and also the native-English officials from England who arrived in the subcontinent did not have any information about this very dangerous item. The Thiyyas simply tried to assimilate into a social system, which very cunningly assigned them the lower positions. The higher castes alerted the other population groups, especially the lower-positions groups about this. This did them (the Thiyyas) in.

As to the native-English, they had no information on this. They went around trying to ‘improve’ the populations without any information that in the local languages, there is no slot of equal dignity. When the lower-placed man goes up, the higher-placed man goes down. This terror is slowly getting enacted in England as of now. The gullible native-English are surely done for, unless all the feudal language speakers are send out.

5. They had no sufficient body of "protectors” of their own race to fall back upon, so they had perforce to acknowledge as “protectors” the aboriginal ruling race,- the Nayars — whom they designated as “Sudras” but in reality treated as Kshatriyas.

[My notes: This is in lieu with the constant anguish of the Nayars’ they are Kshatriyas. Actually, this ‘Kshatriyas’ designation might not really mean much. If it is royal blood, they are alluding to, it might be a false hope. For, there cannot be a lot of ‘kings’ and royalty. In this book there are many locations where the Nair / Nayar numbers are mentioned in thousands and tens of thousands. See these quote:

6. A force of fifty thousand Nayars, joined by many Cochin malcontents, marched to Repelim (Eddapalli in Cochin State) on the 31st March

7. The evidence of the Honourable East India Company’s linguist (interpreter, agent) at Calicut, which appears in the Diary of the Tellicherry Factory under date 28th May 1746, and which has already boon quoted (ante p. 80), deserves to be here reproduced. He wrote as follows :

“These Nayars, being heads of the Calicut people, resemble the parliament, and do not obey the king’s dictates in all things, but chastise his ministers when they do unwarrantable acts.”

In so far as Malabar itself was concerned the system seems to have remained in an efficient state down to the time of the British occupation, and the power of the Rajas was strictly limited. END OF QUOTE

[My notes: The above-words have too many problems. The first issue is that the English East India Company did face a numbers of problems, due to their linguist (interpreter, agent) not giving them the real or intended translation what the natives of Malabar said. Much of the translation would contain a lot of personal interests and that of the so-many local vested interests. This issue actually became a very big problem for the English East India Company. And it may even be mentioned that some of the bitter feelings that some of the native small-time ruler had for the Company was due to this deliberate mistranslations.

This was actually a huge issue. I will deal with that later.

The second issue is that the claim that Nayars are the head of the Calicut people. The Nayars were a caste of people, in the levels comparable with the modern-day constables. However, even the various kings of Malabar, even though they claim to be Kshatriya, seem to have been from the Nair / Nayar caste with some ancestral difference.

The kings of Malabar seem to have a lot of connection with the Tamil country as per the various quotes from the history section. Moreover, when Vasco da Gama came to Calicut, the king of Calicut was seen thus: he was a very dark man, half-naked, and clothed with white cloths from the middle to the knees. From a general viewpoint, the people of Malabar, are fair in complexion. So, it might be true that this king had a Tamil land ancestry to some extent. The average Tamilian is dark. And seeing that the king of Calicut was quite close to the seafaring people, could it be possible that his family had some ancestral connection with the fishermen folks? They are also generally seen as dark in complexion.

Then about the Nayars not obeying their king, well, to some extent this would be true. For, the king had to depend upon them for various things. He had no department of his own. In fact, he had no social welfare aim in his kingdom, like providing for the education of the children, hospitals for the public, arranging for proper policing, or judiciary or anything. His soul duty was to act in concert with the various higher castes to see that the lower castes were strictly kept in their subordinated position.

Beyond that the king of Calicut was very much dependent on the Mappilla maritime businessmen. Some of the Mappilla maritime households were literally the agents and supporters of Arabian trade interests. To a great extent they provided for his security. That is the impression that one gets when one comes to read that part of the history which deals with the Muslim / Arab traders.]

8. From the earliest times therefore down to the end of the eighteenth century the Nayar tara and nad organisation kept the country from oppression and tyranny on the part of the rulers, and to this fact more than to any other is due the comparative prosperity which the Malayali country so long enjoyed, and which made of Calicut at one time the great emporium of trade between the East and the West.

[My notes: The above quote is total nonsense. For, nowhere in the book can one find the Malabar area in a state of peace and prosperity at any time. The history of the place is constant backstabbing, treachery and warfare between the higher castes. As to the lower castes, they had to bear the periodic molesting that happen when huge number of people move around with arms for the fight. They will molest the lower castes on any side of the fight. The men, they will catch for adding to their slaves. The women would be caught for fornication and for various menial work.

As to the Calicut being a great trade emporium of the East and West, it is just pipe-dream talk. International maritime traders would assemble in various locations in the world, Asia and Africa to take goods to Europe. It does not mean that the places where the traders came to are great centres of human living.

For instance, I used to frequent a very under-developed forest-like area in the local state. This was for collecting various kinds of fruits and vegetables in bulk quantity. Many other traders from various vegetable and fruits wholesale markets from the neighbouring states also would come there. There was one big-time trader in the locality itself who monopolised the ginger trade. His lorries would collect the raw ginger from the farmers and take it to far-off vegetable markets in the far north, some three thousand kilometres away. However, all this activity could not be translated to mean that the people or the place was highly sophisticated or that the common people were rich or that there existed a high quality civilised social living. Everything over there was then in the exact opposite.

See this QUOTE from Abdu-r-Razzak: —“Although the Samuri (king of Calicut) is not under his (Raja of Vijayanagar) authority, nevertheless he is in great alarm and apprehension from him, for it is said that the king of Bijanagar has 300 sea-ports, every one of which is equal to Kalikot, and that inland his cities and provinces extend over a journey of three months.” END OF QUOTE

There is bluff and counterbluff of the lowly rulers. However, the modern readers need not fall for them.]

9. Parasu Raman (so the tradition preserved in the Keralolpatti runs) “separated the Nayars into Taras and ordered that to them belonged the duty of supervision (lit. kan = the eye), the executive power (lit. kei = the hand, as the emblem of power), and the giving of orders (lit. kalpana — order, command) so as to prevent the rights from being curtailed or suffered to fall into disuse.”

[My notes: Here the Keralolpathi seems to be a book trying to promote Nair interests. However, Keralolpathi had much more cunning aim. I will try to hint what it was later.]

10. Menon or Menavan (mel — above, and avan — third personal pronoun ; superior N., generally writers, accountants).

Ore (for plural third personal pronoun avar, honorific title of N.).

[My notes: There is very obvious aim to assert a Superior mien for the Menons. However, the fact remains that in Travancore, the word Menon was designated as a Sudra when it came for appointing a Menon man for the post of a Dewan. And it was not allowed. So again that superiority is relative. The constable’s superiority is only at the local village or street corner level or above the menial workers. There are higher beings in the social setup who have a wider ambit and a higher stature.

See this QUOTE from Travancore State Manual: There was Raman Menon, the Senior Dewan Peishcar, a man of considerable revenue experience and energy, and there was T. Madava Row, a young officer of character and ability and possessed of high educational qualifications,........................................ but the Senior one Raman Menoven was in the north of Travancore and being a Soodra could not have conducted the great religious festival then celebrating at Trivandrum ................. . His Highness has since proposed to me that Madava Row should for the present be placed in chair of the administration as Acting Dewan END OF QUOTE]

11. by custom the Nayar women go uncovered from the waist; upper garments indicate lower caste, or sometimes, by a strange reversal of western notions, immodesty.

[My notes: This is another stark nonsense, written in the general free-for-all freedom to write anything that can be used to mention one more point of Nair superiority. Lower castes are identified by their nude upper part. Nairs also had this issue when they moved in front of the higher castes, the Brahmins. However, every point is simply used and misused to promote the idea that the Nairs are a superior caste. There is desperation in all these attempts. The Nairs were about to face a terrible calamity. ]

12. Both men and women are extremely neat, and scrupulously particular as to their cleanliness and personal appearance. The women in particular enjoy a large measure of liberty, and mix freely in public assemblies.

[My notes: The words on cleanliness might be true only in the case of a few well-placed higher stature females in a joint household. Others would literally have many problems of their own stature in the feudal languages.

As to the issue of these females having a lot of social freedom and right to mix in public assemblies, there are hidden parameters to this. Only the females who get to be addressed with a suffix of ‘respect’ and words of ‘respect’ denoting the words She, Her, Hers &c. will find the freedom to move around. Others would not find any physical shackles. That is true. But, the word-codes would hold them in terrific terror. In fact, the Ola kuda, the palm-leave umbrella is a very necessity item for them to have with them when they go out. For, otherwise the lower castes both male and females would use profane glances and lower-indicant words about them. They will shrivel away.

It is like one particular IPS lady officer going around where the male constables can see her. This particular lady has nothing in her dress to denote that she is an IPS officer (very senior police officer). The police constables would use only the most profane and lower-indicant words about her. If she chances to hear them, it would give her a terrific emotional shock.

It may be mentioned that all these kinds of issues are slowly spreading around England. It is tragic.

There is a Proverbs section in this book. Among the proverbs given there, there is one that states: QUOTE: A god will be recognised only if clad accordingly. END OF QUOTE. There is a book in Malayalam purported to have been written by Gundert. The proverbs mentioned in Malabar, might have been taken from that book. The above quote is stated thus in that book: അണിയലംകെട്ടിയെ ദൈവമാവു. (Corrected translation: A divinity can be identified only if attired in the right stature costume.) The unyielding power of the word-codes is very amply seen here. The attire can decide the word-codes.

Even though some persons might say that these things are there in English also, the truth is that they are not there in English. Only in certain locations like the armed forced &c. the insignia of an officer is an essential item to identify his rank. However, the verbal codes for You, He, She &c. will not change, even if the rank is not clear or misidentified.

Incidentally it may be mentioned here that many of the proverbs in the book are total sync with the verbal code of the location. That of each individual having a stature in the language-code. That there is no gain in giving a wrong status to any person.

QUOTE: അട്ടക്ക് പൊട്ടക്കുളം. END OF QUOTE The translation given in this book is: A miry pit suits a leech. However a better translation would be: A dirty pond for the leech. These kinds of proverbs are actually used to categorise human being. The animals very rarely come into the picture.

Look at this one: അട്ടയെപിടിച്ച് മെത്തയിൽ കിടത്തിയാലോ. The translation given in the book is: Would you catch a leech and put it abed? A more apt translation would be: What if the leech/bug is allowed to sleep on a bed?

Now, this is what actually the English administration did. They picked up the population groups which had been placed in the dirt, and had been made to stink over the centuries, and they improved them beyond recognition. It was a glorious deed. Never before seen anywhere in recorded history. Yet, it is very difficult to hear one word of appreciation from even the population groups who benefitted. There are specific reasons for this stark ingratitude. ]

13. He said that each woman had two or four men who cohabited with her, and the men, he said “seldom” quarrelled, the woman distributing her time among her husbands just as a Muhammadan distributes his time among his women.

[My notes: Even though this statement might seem that the Nair women were having freedom of a kind not even seen in the most modern societies, there are hidden truths behind all these kinds of nonsensical dialogue.

The reader may note that nowhere in the history section are women seen to be coming out into the open for policymaking or discussions, anything like that. There is ample mention of a Beebi of Cannanore. In fact, a number of females would have been in this position over the years mentioned in the history section. Yet, it is also seen that her name is only of namesake status. Actually there are men who decide. Even there seems to be some fancy in mentioning the Beebi among small population around a miniscule part of Cannanore.

It is seen from other writings wherein this issue of Nair females having a lot of sexual rights, the fact is that they have literally no say in these matters. A Nair woman’s ‘husband’ remain as ‘husband’ only on the pleasure of her bothers’ wish. If they have any issue with her ‘husband’, he is very frankly informed that she has another husband now, and that his services are no longer required.

See this quote from Native Life in Travancore. Even though the Nairs of Travancore might be different from the Nairs of Malabar in some ways, including language, they both have the same matriarchal family system: QUOTE: Rev. J. Abbs, in his “Twenty-two Years in Travancore,” gives the following narrative, related to him by a Sudran, which well illustrates the subject in hand : — “Being a tall, handsome man of respectable family, although poor, I was engaged several years ago by two rich men of my own caste to be the husband of their sister. As they did not wish to give me a dowry, or to let their sister leave them, it was agreed that I should have a monthly allowance, go whenever I pleased to see my wife, and when at the house of her brothers, eat in common with the males of the family. This I expected would be permanent. But a few days ago, when I went to the house, I was told by the elder brother that I could not be admitted, as another husband had been chosen for his sister. Her brothers have taken the two children to train them up as the heirs of the family property.” END OF QUOTE]

14. In Johnston’s “Relations of the most famous Kingdom in the world” (1611 Edition) there occurs the following quaintly written account of this protector guild : “It is strange to see how ready the Souldiour of this Country is at his Weapons : they are all gentile men, and tearmed Naires. At seven Years of Age they are put to School to learn the Use of their Weapons, where, to make them nimble and active, their Sinnewes and Joints are stretched by skilful Fellows, and annointed with the Oyle Sesamus : By this annointing they become so light and nimble that they will winde and turn their Bodies as if they had no Bones, casting them forward, backward, high and low, even to the Astonishment of the Beholders. Their continual Delight is in their Weapon, persuading themselves that no Nation goeth beyond them in Skill and Dexterity.”

[My notes: The problem with these kinds of quotes is that the reality behind this quote would be limited to some specific location, in a specific time. The mention of the martial activity is more or less that of the local martial arts, Kalari. A lot of people being exponents in Kalari is not a necessary proof of the high quality content in the population. It just shows that they are incessantly in a mood for fight. Words like: 'put to School' do not mean much in a location where public education is more or less zero.

There is this quote from Native Life in Travancore: QUOTETo-day, when passing by your schoolroom, I heard the children sing their sweet and instructive lyrics with great delight. We Sudras, regarded as of high caste, are now becoming comparatively lower; while you, who were once so low, are being exalted through Christianity. I fear,” he added, “Sudra children in the rural districts will soon be fit for nothing better than feeding cattle.” END of QUOTE]

In the above quote, the contention that the Sudras considered themselves as high caste is similar to an Indian police constable considering himself or herself as a high ‘officer’. There are millions of Indians who are placed below peon-level ‘officers’.

As to the general use the Nairs make use of with their weapons, and who they ‘protect’ can be seen from this information given in the Native Life in Travancore: QUOTE: If the Pulayar did not speedily move out of the way, instant death was the penalty : the low-caste man in former times would be at once cut down by the sword of the Nair. END OF QUOTE. Actually, on reading the real history part in this book, the Nayar valour seems to confined to cutting down insubordinate lower castes. When the Mysorean invasion came, they literally scooted. But then not only the Nayars, almost everyone ran for their lives. Only the English Company stood its ground.]

Beyond that there is this also: 'persuading themselves that no Nation goeth beyond them in Skill and Dexterity.' This quote more or less identifies the population. It is as what Al Biruni has mentioned. The shallow feeling that they are the 'greatest' people in the world. This kind of mood is there in most school textbooks of current-day India. May be all low-class nations do have this boasting emotion. There is a proverb in English to define this character: 'Empty vessels make the most sound'. Curiously in Malayalam also, there is an exact translation of this: നിറകുടം തുളുമ്പില്ല.

There is a curious information that I found in Travancore State Manual, with regard to the time Col. Munro had official authority over there. It is this from Travancore State Manual: QUOTE: The restriction put on the Sudras and others regarding the wearing of gold and silver ornaments was removed. END OF QUOTE. In spite of all contentions to the contrary, the Nairs also did face many restrictions due to the relative lower status in relation to the Ambalavasis and the Brahmans].

15. Finally the only British General of any note—Sir Hector Munro who had ever to face the Nayars in the field thus wrote of their modes of fighting :- “One may as well look for a needle in a Bottle of Hay as any of them in the daytime, they being lurking behind sand-banks and bushes, except when we are marching towards the fort, and then they appear like bees out in the month of June.” “Besides which,” he continued, “they point their guns well and fire them well also.” (Tellicherry Factory Diary, March, 1701.) They were, in short, brave light troops, excelling in skirmishing, but their organisation into small bodies with discordant interests unfitted them to repel any serious invasion by all enemy even moderately well organised.”

[My notes: Look at these words: QUOTE: the only British General of any note END OF QUOTE. They do not seem to be the words of a British writer. There are many quotes and hints and writings in various locations inside this book, where Nair fighting qualities have been mentioned in highly exalted words. However, in the location where William Logan has clearly done the writing, that is, in the history part, the exact opposite features of the Nair population is given. They are mentioned as quite cowardly, brutish and without any commitment to their own words of promise.

Even though, as I mentioned earlier that the Nairs / Nayars of Malabar and that of Travancore need not be one and the same people, in current-day newly-formed state of Kerala, both are treated as one. So it might be illuminative to know what was the exact state of courage and valour of the Travancore Nayars. For the above quote by Col Munro is about the Nayars of Travancore.

The following are some of the quotes from Travancore State Manual:

1. The armies of the chieftains consisted of Madampis (big landlords) and Nayars who were more a rabble of the cowardly proletariat than well-disciplined fighting men.

2. But Rodriguez not minding raised one wall and apprehending a fight the next day mounted two of his big guns. The sight of these guns frightened the Nayars and they retreated;

3. Meanwhile the subsidiary force at Quilon was engaged in several actions with the Nayar troops. But as soon as they heard of the fall of the Aramboly lines, the Nayars losing all hopes of success dispersed in various directions.

Why I am illuminating such incidences is just to show the real quality of certain sections of this book, which certainly are not the words of William Logan. These kinds of self-praise words are a common feature in most of the writings and words of the people/s of this subcontinent. As such these words need not be given much value. The various quotes of other persons that these people mention to show the grand antiquity of their own ancestors are actually very carefully cherry-picked items. For instance, one might see a lot of quotes from Ibn Batuta’s writings, that seem to mention the subcontinent as a great place. The fact is that these quotes are taken from the midst of writings in which various terrible attributes of the subcontinent have already been mentioned.

There is this mention in his writing about his viewing of a Sati. That is the live burning up of a woman whose husband had died. She is first shielded from fire by others blocking the view. She seems to have some belief that her faith would protect her from pain. She jumps inside the fire with her hands clasped in a pose of prayer. The moment she jumps in, the men and women around push down upon her heavy wood to crush her inside and she has no scope for escape. There is terrific drumming and loud clamour. So the wailing of the burning woman is drowned in the sound. Ibn Batuta, on seeing this incident, loses his sense of equilibrium and would have fallen off his horse, had not his companions caught him and poured water upon his face.

In the Delhi Sultan's kingdom, he found the king extremely cruel. He mentions of : Every day hundreds of people, chained, pinioned and fettered, are brought to his hall and those who are for execution are executed, those for torture tortured, and those for beating beaten.

In another location, he mentions about women and little children being butchered and the women being tied to the pales by their hair.

The fact of the matter is that Col.Munro had very poor opinion of the officials of Travancore. The officials were more or less the Nairs. This is what he speaks about them: QUOTE: “No description can produce an adequate impression of the tyranny, corruption and abuses of the system, full of activity and energy in everything mischievous, oppressive and infamous, but slow and dilatory to effect any purpose of humanity, mercy and justice. This body of public officers, united with each other on fixed principles of combination and mutual support, resented a complaint against one of their number, as an attack upon the whole. Their pay was very small, and never issued from the treasury, but supplied from several authorised exactions made by themselves. END OF QUOTE

In passing, I may also mention that the above description more or less is the perfect description of the Indian officialdom. The only difference is that the pay of the Indian official is of astronomical content. Clement Atlee will definitely have to answer to providence for the most terrible deed he did. That of handing over a huge set of populations to the Indian officialdom.

16. “By eating of this rice they all engage to burn themselves on the day the king dies, or is slain, and they punctually fulfil their promise.”

[My notes: This is another dubious quote taken from some solitary location. It is true that at times people can be made indoctrinated to be quite insane. However, it is quite intelligent to understand that these things do not last. Also, the claim that they will burn themselves to death. Well, people are known to do that. However, even in the case of Sati, the women have to be restrained by ropes or heavy logs of wood or by pushing them down back into the fire with bamboo poles, when they come realise the pain of the burning.]

17. ... for the Nayar militia were very fickle, and flocked to the standard of the man who was fittest to command and who treated them the most considerately.

[My notes: This quote is from the location dealing with insane fighting tradition connected to the Mamangam festival at Tirunavaya. Actually this undependability and fickleness and tendency to ditch one side and jump to a seemingly better side is part of the population character of the subcontinent. It is not a Nayar alone feature. It has its roots in the verbal codes in the local language. This character will be seen in other locations which have same or similar verbal codes in their native languages.]

18. Two spears’ length apart the palisades are placed, and the armed crowd on either hand, consisting on this occasion of the thirty thousand Ernad Nayars, it is seen, are all carrying spears.

[My notes: This is again from Mamangam festival at Tirunavaya. What is mentionable here is the number ‘thirty thousand’. It is true that in days when there is nothing else to do by way of entertainment, people would flocks to such locations. For they practically have nothing much to do. For their slaves and other lower castes would do the daily work. Yet, the contention that all these thirty thousand people are going there with a military ambition might be farfetched. For, an assemblage of thirty thousand human beings brings in the issues of food preparation, drinking water, toileting etc. The whole place would literally stink. These kinds of huge numbers are seen mentioned in various places. However, in the locations where it is quite sure that the writer is Logan the numbers of individuals involved in any war or fight are more or less mentioned in more believable numbers. I will mention them when I reach those lines in the book.]

19. On this occasion, however, a large portion of the body-guard seems to have been displeased, for they left without fulfilling this duty, and this story corroborates in a marked way the fact already set forth (p. 132) regarding the independence and important political influence possessed by the Nayars as a body.

[This is an example of how any incident or event can be mentioned in whatever manner one wants to present it. The above incident is connected to one of the Mamamgam festival at Tirunavaya. The sudden mood of discordance that come up and a sizable number of people breaking of, is just that they are the followers of one or a few individuals. They do not have any independent mental stature. When their leaders breakout from an association, they also do likewise. Again, this need not be understood as some kind of great fidelity and loyalty. It is just that in feudal languages, there is a hugging hold on individuals who are connected upwards.

Beyond all this, the above kinds of incidences of leaders suddenly breaking off were and are quite common in the subcontinent. The feudal language codes are quite terrific in their power for creating discordance. A simple change of the indicant level for the words You, Your, Yours, He, His, Him, She, Her, Hers &c. can literally create cataclysmic mood changes in an individual.

The fact is that it is this issue that is really spreading civil gun and other violence in traditionally peaceful native-English social systems. However, there is no way to inform them of this issue. For, it is an issue that cannot be detected in English.

20. The martial spirit of the Nayars was in former days kept alive by such desperate enterprises as the above, but in every day life the Nayar used to be prepared and ready to take vengeance on any who affronted him, for he invariably carried his weapons,

[The martial spirit that is alluded to is this: QUOTE:...current tradition says that the corpses of the slain were customarily kicked by elephants as far as the brink of the fine well, of which mention has been made, and into which they were tumbled promiscuously. END OF QUOTE.

What has to be understood is that these things do not display any kind of quality civilised behaviour. Moreover the spirit of vengeances towards anyone and everyone who has affronted ‘him’, is directly connected to the feudal language trigger-codes. A single unacceptable indicant word form for You, He, She etc. is enough to make a human mind to go into a very brooding mood of anguish and craving for vengeance. Only persons who do not understand these things would find anything worthwhile in these emotions and culture.]

21. A preparation and training (it is said) for twelve years preceded the battle in order to qualify the combatants in the use of their weapons. The men who fought were not necessarily the principals in the quarrel—they were generally their champions. It was essential that one should fall,

[My notes: Even though this information is given in the form of some kind of great tradition, the actual fact reflected is the tragic situation of this people. They are simply trained to be the henchmen of the ruling classes and the affluent landlords. The disputes among the higher classes with regard to so many things including that of the ubiquitous issue of conceding rightful ‘respect’ and not conceding rightful ‘respect’, is ultimately settled through the death or maiming of these individuals. Only totally insane persons would find anything of quality in this tradition. ]

22. from the fact that the Tamil and Malayalam languages were in those days practically identical, it may be inferred that the ruling caste of Nayar were already settled in Malabar in the early centuries A.D.

[My notes: The fact is that there is a huge content of lies in the above lines. It is about the languages of Malabar and Travancore. I will have to discuss this issue later. However, there is some hint to be derived from the above that the Nayars of Travancore were Tamil speakers, who were slowly changing over the centuries, through their constant proximity with the Brahmans and the lower castes.]

23. The nad (country) was the territorial organisation of the ruling caste (Nayars), and, in two instances at least (Venad and Cheranad), it was the territory of the “Six hundred.”

[My notes: This Six hundred is another curious item that is seen repeated all around the book. The feeling that is be radiated is that there was a sort of parliament or assembly-like structure with Nayar families from all the four corners of the geographical location that consisted of North Malabar, South Malabar and Travancore. It might be indeed a very tall claim, when the geography and the time period is taken into account. Since I am person who has more or less frequently travelled to most of the locations inside this geographical area, it is my conviction that such an organisation is very difficult to maintain in a time-period when means of travel were quite cumbersome and time-taking. Moreover, travelling beyond one’s own location was quite difficult and dangerous.

It is true that travel by sea would be easier when trying to come to coastal areas. However, sea-travel was dominated more or less by the fishermen folks. Their companionship without them conceding due ‘respect’ and ‘reverence’ in words and body postures would be quite terrible to bear. This issue itself would make sea-travel quite a prohibited item for the higher castes.

The next cunning entry is the statement: QUOTE: of the ruling caste (Nayars) END OF QUOTE. It is true that the police constables are quite powerful in their own local areas. But then, they are not the IPS officers. Above the police constables, there are head-constables, Assistant Sub Inspectors, Circle Inspectors, DySp, Sp, DIG, IG and DGP. Similarly above the Nairs there were the various levels of Ambalavasis, and then the layers of Brahmins.

Nayars were not the ruling caste in this sense, other than in the sense that in their local areas, they held terrific powers for even maiming and killing a lower-caste individual. There could be slight confusion as to who were the ruling classes. If the Brahmins could be compared to the IAS (civil administration royalty of current-day India), then the Raja families could be compared to the IPS (police administration royalty of current-day India). The raja families seem to have stood apart from the Nayar / Sudras castes to a great extent.

It is true that some Nayars individually were of great status. Same is true about some police constable/head-constables. However, still they are not IPS. It is seen in this book, Malabar that some Nair peons / Kolkars at least were rich landlords in South Malabar.

See this QUOTE from Travancore State Manual

QUOTE: ‘Besides the village associations already noticed, Venad, it would appear, had an important public body under the name of the ‘Six Hundred’

to supervise the working of temples and charities connected therewith. What other powers and privileges this remarkable corporation of “Six Hundred” was in possession of, future investigation can alone determine. But a number so large, nearly as large as the British House of Commons, could not have been meant, in so small a state as Venad was in the 12th Century, for the single function of temple supervision END OF QUOTE

This Six hundred is connected to the miniscule kingdom of Venad. When the population of Travancore spread out in the world, this miniscule ‘Six hundred’ will also expand to great heights, as has been seen in the case of China. See the reference to the ‘Six hundred’ is in Tamil, and not in Malayalam or Malabari (then possibly known as Malayalam).

24. The curved sword or dagger, that is, probably, the right to make war armed with the distinctive Nayar weapon, the ayudha katti (war-knife), or as it is sometimes called, the kodunga katti (curved knife).

[My notes: This contention does not make the Nayars look a cultured group. It is more or less the verbal claims of all low-quality ruffians in the subcontinent. In fact, the English administration had to prohibit the use of the ayudha katti by the Act XXXV of 1854, due to it being used in the Mappilla attack on the Nayars and Brahmins.

1. In this connection, there is this QUOTE from Travancore State Manual about the Nairs of Travancore: Moreover the habits and character of these people have undergone a complete change within the last twenty years. That warlike, refractory and turbulent temper for which the Nairs of Travancore were once so remarkable has totally disappeared, and they must now be regarded as a population of pacific habits placing the most implicit confidence in our protection and well convinced that their safety entirely depends on the stability, support and friendship of the British Government. END OF QUOTE.

The notable issue here is that even when the Nairs went soft, the lower castes did not. The latter became more ferocious and this led to the Nair / Sudra street-fights in the 1800s, and this later culminated in the Travancore kingdom’s police firing on the lower castes in Punnapra and Vayalar villages around the year 1946. However, the larger context of this incident was the unfettering of the lower castes in Travancore, the Pulaya, Pariah, Ezhava, Shanar etc. by the Missionaries of the London Missionary Society.

2. The Soodra (Sudra) or Nair (Nayar) part, of the community were more to be depended upon ; there was an honest frankness about them which you could not but admire, and which is a surety that in proportion to our increasing influence, these people will prove themselves worthy of the confidence of Government.

[My Notes: This quote is from this book, Malabar. The point to be stressed here is the very naivety and gullibility of the English folks. In feudal languages, a very affable manner, pleasant smile, friendliness are all weapons of conquest. They are used to subdue an unwary and wary prey. The above quote is seen mentioned in connection with the Pazhassi raja insurgency. Actually, in this very episode, a Yemen Nayar did use this very same technique to trick the English side. The point here is that all these kinds of good and bad description found in book are similar to the story of the four blind persons touching an elephant and trying to describe what it is. These persons seem to believe what they experienced is the total experience. None of the feudal-language speaking persons has a demeanour or character or behaviour feature that is stable and can describe a person’s innate attribute. Everything changes as per the verbal codes used in any particular context.]

25. One tradition says that for forty-eight years he warred with the chief of Polanad, the Porlattiri Raja, and in the end succeeded by winning over his opponent’s troops, the Ten Thousand, and by bribing his opponent’s minister and mistress.

[My notes: In feudal languages, bluffing is an essential component of social living and stature. So, the words Ten Thousands can be accepted with this due understanding. However, beyond this there is hint of the ancient culture of this location. This is: bribing his opponent’s minister and mistress. Well, truth is that natives of this land are used to bribing as a very effective form of defence, offence, overtaking and getting things done. There are other equally effective weapons in use here. It is quite good to understand that these weapons are used by the businessmen of this location when they want to take over the economy of native-English nations like England, USA, Australia, Canada &c.

26. After this, it is said, “the men of the port began to make voyages to Mecca in ships, and Calicut became the most famous (port) in the world for its extensive commerce, wealth, country, town, and king.”

[My notes: This incident relates to an incident of testing the king of Calicut for honesty by a Chetty maritime merchant. That particular king happened to be quite honest. So, the merchant decided that this port was the safest port around. However, the next contention of Calicut being the most famous port in the world has a taste of the academic writing of current-day India. Calicut was just a port a in a semi-barbarian land, where a honest king was found. This information does not transpire to mean the people of Calicut were in any way great. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the people living inland at some distance from the sea-coast simply do not connect with the seafaring populations. They feel that they are different, rough, uncouth and low-class. The roughness is connected to the issue of how to mix without losing one’s ‘respect’.

27. “Being apprehensive lest their enemies the Moors might attempt to massacre them, the Raja had even lodged them in his own palace and had provided them with a guard of Nayars to protect them when they went into the town

[My notes: This is a quote about the Portuguese experience in Cochin. Why the sentence has been taken is to focus on the words ‘a guard of Nayars’. It simply corresponds to a modern sentence: a guard by a team of constables. It does not give the impression that the guards were a team of IPS officers.

28. “These Nayars are gentlemen by lineage, and by their law they are bound to die for whoever gives them pay, they and all their lineage.”

“And even if they are of the same lineage and serving different masters, they are bound all the same to kill each other if need be, “and when the struggle is finished, they will speak and communicate with one another as if they had never fought.”

[My notes: The above two-quotes are actually quite fanciful statements. Nowhere in the history section of this book does the Nayars appear to be especially brave or committed to their word of honour. Like everyone else in this land, they are also quite opportunistic. The feudal languages design the human personality features.

The following quotes are from the Travancore State Manual. Even though the Nairs of Travancore could have been different from the Nairs of both North as well as South Malabar, the following quotes can be illuminating:

1. Kayangulam Rajah had anticipated the fate of his army. He knew that his ill-trained Nayars were no match to the Travancore forces which had the advantage of European discipline and superior arms.

2. The armies of the chieftains consisted of Madampis (big landlords) and Nayars who were more a rabble of the cowardly proletariat than well-disciplined fighting men.

3. But Rodriguez not minding raised one wall and apprehending a fight the next day mounted two of his big guns. The sight of these guns frightened the Nayars and they retreated; the Moplahs too lost courage and looked on.

4. Meanwhile the subsidiary force at Quilon was engaged in several actions with the Nayar troops. But as soon as they heard of the fall of the Aramboly lines, the Nayars losing all hopes of success dispersed in various directions.

5. In 1817 the Rani represented to the Resident Col. Munro her desire to increase the strength and efficiency of the army and to have it commanded by a European officer, as the existing force was of little use being undisciplined and un-provided with arms.

29. But the Portuguese artillery again proved completely effective, and the enemy was driven back with heavy loss notwithstanding that the Cochin Nayers(five hundred men) had fled at the first alarm.

30. it was with the utmost difficulty repulsed, the Cochin Nayars having again proved faithless.

31. The fort was accordingly abandoned and it is said that the last man to leave it set fire to a train of gunpowder which killed many of the Nayars and Moors, who in hopes of plunder flocked into the fort directly it was abandoned.

[My notes: This is not an unbelievable incident. See the next quote:]

32. The Nayars and other Malayalis suffered in their eagerness for plunder, for a magazine blew up and killed 100 of them

33. Such family quarrels were not infrequent in the Kolattiri Chief’s house, and the reasons therefore are in operation in all Malayali families down to the present day and more especially in North Malabar.

[My notes: This continual mood for mutiny and mutual fights and quarrels are caused by the feudal language codes in the native languages. ]

34. The result was that the two settlements began to interchange friendly visits, and much gunpowder was spent in salutes, much to the chagrin of the Kurangoth Nayar, who tried various plans to prevent the respective factors from coming to an amicable understanding.

1. If attempts were made to sow dissensions by showing forged letters, etc. (as had already happened), inter-communication between the factories was to be free in order to get rid of the distrust thereby caused. The Nayars in the pay of the respective companies were to be kept quiet, and the factories were to take joint action in case of dissensions among them and also in protecting them against other people.

[My notes: The above two items are illustrative of what the local vested interests continually did. The Nairs had their own vested interest in seeing that the English and French trading groups fought against each-other. There is indeed a saying in Malayalam: കലക്ക് വെള്ളത്തിൽ മീൻപിടിക്കുക. It means the art of catching fish in muddied waters. (Fish in troubled waters).They would strive to create a state of uneasy distrust between two higher placed groups. The lower-placed groups would make use of this scenario to make the best profit for themselves.

35. From the position of his Nad, the Nayar was early brought into relations with both the English and French Companies, and he tried his best, to play off one against the other, not without loss to himself.

36. The English force secured an eminence with the Nayars on their right, but the latter fled when attacked by the Canarese.

[My notes: The following are illustrative of the Nayar courage or fright]:

1. Then a crisis occurred. The Nayars and Tiyars at Ponolla Malta deserted, and the sepoys refused to sacrifice themselves.

2. Fullarton applied for and received four battalions of Travancore sepoys, which he despatched to the place to help the Zamorin to hold it till further assistance could arrive, but before the succour arrived, the Zamorin’s force despairing of support had abandoned the place and retired into the mountains. Tippu’s forces, thereupon, speedily re-occupied all the south of Malabar as far as the Kota river,

3. Nayres were busied in attempting to oppose the infantry, who pretended to be on the point of passing over. They were frightened at the sudden appearance of the cavalry and fled with the utmost precipitation and disorder without making any other defence but that of discharging a few cannon which they were too much intimidated to point properly.

[My notes: This incident is connected to the attempts to block Hyder Ali’s troops. The Nair soldiery in Malabar were simply next to nothing in organising a strong defence. In the ultimate reckoning, it was the timely intervention of the English that saved the Nairs. Otherwise the Nairs would currently be at the state of the lowest castes of Malabar and Travancore.]

4. The whole army in consequence moved to attack the retrenchment ; but the enemy perceiving that Hyder’s troops had stormed their outpost, and catching the affright of the fugitives, fled from their camp with disorder and precipitation.

5. The Travancore commander had arranged that the Raja’s force should reassemble upon the Vypeen Island, but the extreme consternation caused by the loss of their vaunted lines had upset this arrangement, and the whole of the force had dispersed for refuge into the jungles or had retreated to the south.

6. The consternation of the (Travancore) Raja's people was so great that they could not be trusted to procure supplies.

7. On this application Hyder Ali sent a force under his brother-in-law, Muckh doom Sahib, who drove back the Zamorin’s Nayars

37. The Nayars, in their despair, defended such small posts as they possessed most bravely.

1. The Nayars defended themselves until they were tired of the confinement, and then leaping over the abbatis and cutting through the three lines with astonishing rapidity, they gained the woods before the enemy had recovered from their surprise.” (Wilks’ History, I, 201.) [My notes: However, the above two quote do show that the Nairs were capable of bravery when there was no other option.]

38. Captain Lane reported, “cruelly—shamefully— and in violation of all laws divine and humane, most barbarously butchered” by the Nayars, notwithstanding the exertions of the English officers to save them.

[My notes: These incidence lend light on the barbarous culture of the people/s in the subcontinent. See the next quote also:]

39. A large body (300) of the enemy, after giving up their arms and while proceeding to Cannanore, were barbarously massacred by the Nayars.

[My notes: These kind of incidences were common in the location. Once an enemy surrenders, the other side would give two-pence value to them. They would be beaten-up into pulp. In the above incident, they are slaughtered.

In fact, a similar thing happened at the end of the 2nd World War. When the Japanese side surrendered in Singapore, a small number of British-Indian soldiers who had shifted loyalty to the Japanese side were among those who had surrendered. Many of them did this to avoid the terrors of a Japanese prison-camp, where many of them were simply bayoneted to death. (Subash Chandran was standing with the Japanese side at the time). When these soldiers were being kept under the British-Indian troops, the latter started butchering them. They called them ‘blacklegs’ and traitors. Then the British side had to take off the British-Indian troops. The surrendered troops were then kept under the direct supervision of the British troops. This kind of lingering mood for vengeance is also connected to the feudal languages.]

40. This arrangement did not much disconcert the Tellicherry factors, who shrewdly recorded in their diary that even if the Dutch did their part, the prince would not do his because of his avarice, which prevented him from paying even for the few Nayars the Company had entertained at Ayconny fort (Alikkunuu opposite Kavayi), and which would certainly, they concluded, prevent him from paying the market price for pepper and selling it at a loss to the Dutch.

[My notes: This is an information that sheds light on the real social status of the majority Nairs. They were the serving class of the royalty and the Brahmins. Many of them depended on the salary given out to them by their employers. However, the employers were not that liberal in paying the wages.]

41. “Before he quitted the country, Hyder by a solemn edict, declared the Nayars deprived of all their privileges ; and ordained that their caste, which was the first after the Brahmans, should thereafter be the lowest of all the castes, subjecting them to salute the Parias and others of the lowest castes by ranging themselves before them as the other Mallabars had been obliged to do before the Nayars ; permitting all the other caste to bear arms and forbidding them to the Nayars, who till then had enjoyed the sole right of carrying them; at the same time allowing and commanding all persons to kill such Nayars as were found bearing arms. By this rigorous edict, Hyder expected to make all the other castes enemies of the Nayars, and that they would rejoice in the occasion of revenging themselves for the tyrannic oppression this nobility had till then exerted over them.

[My notes: This is the apt answer to a native-of-the-subcontinent person who is at the moment standing on the pedestal of native-English nations and trying to fix up an idea that if the English rule had not come to the Subcontinent, the place would have been great. What would have happened if the native-English force was not there in Malabar? The above paragraph gives one answer. Now, look at the following quotes: ]

1. Hyder Ali dictates: Hereafter you must proceed in an opposite manner ; dwell quietly, and pay your dues like good subjects : and since it is a practice with you for one woman to associate with ten men, and you leave your mothers and sisters unconstrained in their obscene practices, and are thence all born in adultery, and are more shameless in your connexions than the beasts of the field : I hereby inquire you to forsake those sinful practices, and live like the rest of mankind.

2. The unhappy captives gave a forced assent, and on the next day the rite of circumcision was performed on all the males, every individual of both sexes being compelled to close the ceremony by eating beef.”

3. Parappanad, also "Tichera Terupar, a principal Nayar of Nelemboor” and many other persons, who had been carried off to Coimbatore, were circumcised and forced to eat beef.

4. Another conquering race had appeared on the scene, and there is not the slightest doubt that, but for the intervention of a still stronger foreign race, the Nayars would now be denizens of the jungles like the Kurumbar and other jungle races whom they themselves had supplanted in similar fashion.

[My notes: The English East India Company was not the ‘conquering race’. In fact, it was the protecting force for all kinds of people here. In fact, in many locations where the English force vacated the location, people went into terror. See this quote:]

5. The news of his (Colonel Hartley's) force being on its way had greatly quieted the inhabitants, and “the consternation which had seized all ranks of the people ’’ had considerably abated.

6. “Colonel Stuart arrived before Palghaut, with two day’s provisions, and without a shilling in his military chest ; the sympathy which he evinced for the sufferings of the Nayars and the rigid enforcement of a protecting discipline had caused his bazaar to assume the appearance of a provincial granary ;

42. The district had been in a disturbed state owing to the mutual animosities and jealousies of the Nambiars themselves and to the confused method in which they conducted the administration. It was very necessary to protect the lower classes of the people from the exactions of the Nambiars, who now freed by the strong arm of the Company from dependence on those beneath them, would have taken the opportunity, if it had been afforded them, of enriching themselves at the expense of their poorer neighbours and subjects.

[My notes: This item is the above the mutual animosities among the various layers of the Nairs and also inside each layer and also with the kings. See these quotes:]

1. His demand for the restoration of Pulavayi was left in suspense to be settled by the Supravisor as its Nayar chiefs were openly resisting the attempts of the Zamorin to interfere in the concerns of their country.

2. Subsequently, too, they were joined by Kunhi Achehan of the Palghat family, who fled to them after having murdered a Nayar

43. Moreover in Darogha Sahib's time (paragraph 175) Itti Kombi Achan established a Parbutti Menon (Accountant) and two or three Kolkars (Peons) in each Desam to collect the revenue,

[My notes: Here, I am mentioning the so-called Kolkars, who have been mentioned as Nairs / Nayars in some other writings. It is more or less sure that they are Nayars. If they were some lower castes, it would have been very carefully mentioned. Even though, there are Nayar caste persons in higher posts like the Accountant, by and large, the Nayar posts were of the peon-kind. Actually this issue had a great bearing upon how the Mappilla rebels were dealt with in South Malabar. That I will deal with later. However, see the quotes given below:]

1. Moreover, in addition to the regular troops, Captain Watson had by this time thoroughly organised his famous “Kolkars” or police, a body of 1,200 men,

2. The rebels were dispersed by the Kolkars, supported by the regular troops under Colonel Montresor.

3. The effect of this, coupled with the vigilance of the Kolkars, was to drive the rebels from the low country into the woods and fastnesses of Wynad, and

4. Mr. Warden returned to Calicut and Colonel Macleod to Cannanore in May for the rains, leaving 2,1523 non-commissioned rank and file and Captain Watson with 800 of his Kolkars in the district, all under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Innes of the 2nd battalion 1st Regiment

5. On June 11th Mr. Baber reported (with much satisfaction at the good results of his policy) the arrest of three rebel leaders and eight of their followers, by the Kolkars and people of Chirakkal acting in concert.

6. And the Palassi (Pychy) Raja himself narrowly escaped on 6th September from falling into the hands of a party of Kolkars despatched from below the ghats

7. The Kolkaras marched all night through the ghats amid rain and leeches, and at 7 a.m. completely surprised the rebel party.

8. Out of 1,500 Kolkars who had been in Wynad only five weeks before, only 170 were on the roll for duty on October 18th

44. The Nayars were no doubt spread over the whole face of the country (as they still are) protecting all rights, suffering none to fall into disuse, and at the same time supervising the cultivation of the land and collecting the kon or king’s share of the produce - the public land revenue in fact.

[My notes: These are self-eulogising descriptions made by the Nayar writers. It cannot be by Logan, for Logan does make at times very distasteful comments about their behaviour. See the following self-praising words:]

1. but to the great bulk of the people—the Nayars, the Six Hundreds — with whom, in their corporate capacities all power rested.

2. The Nayar protector guild was distributed over the length and breadth of the land exercising their State functions of ....

3. unless he acted in strict accordance with the Nayar guild whose function was “to prevent the rights from being curtailed or suffered to fall into disuse” as the Keralolpatti expressly says.

4. The duty of the Kanakkars (Nayar headmen) was protection.

5. The number of Nayars or fighting men attached to a Desavali was from 25 to 100 ; if it exceeded the latter number, he ranked as Naduvali.

6. He was the military chief, not the civil chief of the Desam

[My notes: It is possible that ‘He’ is the fighting man in the small village or town or town and villages around it, and has some kind of subordinates, and that he and his subordinates are Nayars. However, the word ‘military chief’ would give out a feel of an English army chief, which would be quite a ridiculous imagination. After all, the whole of Malabar, north and south was quite a small place. Inside this small place, there are very many desams. The subordinates are Nayars, meaning that they are like the ordinary constables and soldiers of India. Rough, rude and totally impolite to those who are suppressed by them. They are still not ‘officers’, for can one can mention the rude and crude type of dominating people in the subcontinent as ‘officers’?]

7. ...the share of produce due to him did not pass to those (the present Rajas) who supplied in some measures his place, but to the great bulk of the people—the Nayars, the Six Hundreds — with whom, in their corporate capacities all power rested.

8. SUDRAN, plural SUDRANMAR. (Sanskrit) = the fourth caste in the Hindu system. Who according, to the Sastram, are the fourth class of Hindus, are a particular caste of Nayars in Malabar, whose duty it is to perform ceremonies or Karmam in Brahman families on the birth of a child, etc.

Note.—Nayars generally do now style themselves as Sudras.

9. MENAVAN or Menon: From Dravidian mel (= above), and Dravidian avan (= he).

10. NAYAN, plural Nayar. (Sanskrit) = leader, in honorific plural, lord ; in ordinary sense, soldiers, militia.

11. The word Nayar has much resemblance to the Gentoo word Nayadu, to the Canarese and Tamil Nayakkan, and to the Hindustani Naig ; all titles of respect, applied in the manner that Sahib is at the end of a name.

45. At the time of Parasurama’s gift of the country to the Brahmans, 64 Gramams were established from Goa to Cape Comorin, 32 from Kanyirote (or Cassergode north to Comorin south) ; to these were attached all the Sudra villages.

[My notes: These are quotes that mention the state of servitude to the Brahman folks. However, it may be re-mentioned here again, the Parasurama story itself has to be imbibed with a spoon of free-flowing salt.

46. CHANGNGATAM: Is also a kind of vassalage, and is applied particularly to Nayars who have placed themselves in a state of dependency upon some Desavali, Naduvali or Raja. The word Adiyan would, with respect to them, be degrading and improperly used. Nayars have often agreed to give Changngatam or protection money to some chief of authority, and to make yearly presents in consequence from 4 to 34 fanams to individual patrons, and as high as 120 to the church.

Now, I would like to move into the location of why the Nairs were so desperate to show themselves to be high and above, to the English administrators. The English administrators were in most cases, quite naive, gullible and good-hearted. In most occasions, they strived to see the better side of things, when actually there was no better side worthy of praise.

The most dangerous content in the subcontinent was the language. When I say that it is feudal, a native-Englishman will not understand it. For, if he is to take up imageries from the feudal system of England, nothing terrible or monstrous will appears in his mind.

For, the English feudal system has nothing in it, which can be compared with the gruesome beastly quality of the feudal systems of Asia and possibly Africa. In my ancient book titled March of the Evil Empires; English versus the feudal languages, I had mentioned that languages are software or software applications or software codes that do contain the design-codes of a social system.

The codes of beastliness in the social system of the South Asian Subcontinent lie encoded in the feudal language of the location. There is no corresponding items in English by which I can convey this idea to an Englishman.

If the reader is interested in knowing more in detail about this, I have mentioned that he or she can read my daily broadcast text. The first two parts have come out as books named: An impressionistic history of the South Asian Subcontinent. Part 1 & 2.

See the words in Malayalam, for You. Nee, Thaan, Ningal, Saar. (There are others also). These words if translated into English means just ‘You’. However, they are not actually synonyms. There are powerful coding inside each of these words, which inflict or convey very powerful placing of individuals in certain slots.

I will leave the theme here, for it has been very clearly described in the book I have mentioned. As of now, the book is in Malayalam. The English translation of the Part One is available.

When the English rule stabilised in the Malabar region, the caste or population group or even religion that got terrorised was the Nayars. Actually, the Nayars should be quite grateful to the English rule For, if the English rule had not appeared in the location, Hyder Ali or his son Sultan Tipu (Tipu Sulthaan) would have re-installed them as the lowest of the castes. All that takes to inflict the hammering blow on their physical and mental demeanour would be just an addressing of them by a Pulaya or Pariah (lowest castes) as a Inhi/Nee, and referring to them as Oan/Avan. They are literally finished. In a generation or two, they will look like the lowest castes.

Moreover the Pulayas and Pariah will fornicate all their women folks with no qualms. For, even without any statutory permission, these lower caste males used to pouch on solitary women folks of the higher castes in Travancore area. This is mentioned in the Native Life in Travancore.

QUOTE 1: A curious custom also existed, which is said to have added to the number of the enslaved. The various castes met at fighting grounds at Pallam, Ochira, &c.; and at this season it was supposed that low-caste men were at liberty to seize high-caste women if they could manage it, and to retain them. Perhaps this practice took its origin in some

kind of faction fights. A certain woman at Mundakayam, with fair Syrian features, is said to have been carried off thus. Hence arose a popular terror that during the months of Kumbha and Meena (February and March), if a Pulayan meets a Sudra woman alone he may seize her, Unless she is accompanied by a Shanar boy. This time of year was called Pula pidi kalam, Gundert says that this time of terror was in “the month Karkadam (15th July to 15th August), during which high caste women may lose caste if a slave happen to throw a stone at them after sunset.” So the slave owners had their own troubles to bear from this institution.

QUOTE 2: The Pariahs in North Travancore formerly kidnapped females of high caste, whom they were said to treat afterwards in a brutal manner.

QUOTE 3: Their custom was to turn robbers in the month of February, just after the ingathering of the harvest, when they were free from field work, and at the same time excited by demon worship, dancing, and drink. They broke into the houses of Brahmans and Nayars, carrying away their children and property, in excuse for which they pretended motives of revenge rather than interest, urging a tradition that they were once a division of the Brahmans, but entrapped into a breach of caste rules by their enemies making them eat beef. These crimes were once committed almost with impunity in some parts, but have now disappeared. Once having lost caste, even by no fault of their own, restoration to home and friends is impossible to Hindus.

QUOTE 4: Barbosa, writing about A.D. 1516, refers to this strange custom as practised by the polcas (Pulayars). “These low people during certain months of the year try as hard as they can to touch some of the Nayr women, as best they may be able to manage it, and secretly by night, to do them harm. So they go by night amongst the houses of the Nayrs to touch women; and these take many precautions against this injury during this season. And if they touch any woman, even though no one see it, and though there should be no witnesses, she, the Nayr woman herself, publishes it immediately, crying out, and leaves her house without choosing to enter it again to damage her lineage. And what she most thinks of doing is to run to the house of some low people to hide herself, that her relations may not kill her as a remedy for what has happened, or sell her to some strangers, as they are accustomed to do. END OF QUOTE.

Even though the above-mentioned items might seem quite unbelievable, they are mostly true. The terror associated with being accosted by or being touched by a lower caste man, is actually encoded in the feudal language. It is not possible to deal with the issue here.

If an incident of the following kind can be imagined, the idea might be understandable to a person from the subcontinent:

A female IPS officer is taken into hands by a group of male or female constables. They address her as Nee, and Edi and refer to her as Aval. And make her live with them. The mentioned words are quite heavy. It has a hammering effect when delivered by the lowly constables on an IPS officer.

This is a scenario that is not imaginable in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. However it is now more or less enacted everyday in native-English nations. Some of the native-Englishmen or women might go berserk. The idiots who claims to be psychologists and psychiatrist would then give out some utterly idiotic logic as to why the person went berserk. They speak without the barest of information on what has taken place. Any normal person in the Sub-continent would go homicidal if such a thing happens over here. But these things do not happen here. For, all social communications are generally done along very carefully built-up pathways. When some persons do not follow the pathways, other simply avoids him or her. They sort of practise apartheid on the person. However, in native-English nations, the foolish natives there cannot do this. For, they will end up in prisons for practising ‘racism’.

That is the truth.

When the English Company was protecting them in times of acute danger, it was okay. However, when the English Company took over the administration of the various small-time kingdoms, there was a new understanding that things are going to be quite dangerous. It was not that the English administration was dangerous or that they were knaves or that they would loot their temples, or molest their women. No. Actually the English administration did none of these things.

What was the greatest danger that arose on the horizon was another thing totally. It was that the English administration was good, honest, efficient, humane and stood for the common welfare of all human beings here. This was a most terrible item.

For the social structure would collapse. And the English officials had no idea about the terrible anguish they were going to give the Nayar caste or Nayar population or Nayar religious group. For, it was the Nayar who stood on the borderline as a sort of wall between the higher castes (Brahmins and the Ambalavasis) and the lower castes.

The lower castes which stood just below them were the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas of North Malabar and the Makkathaya Thiyyas of South Malabar. I personally think that it was the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas of North Malabar who intimidated them most in the newly emerging social scenario. One of the main reasons for this was that the English East India Company Factory was located in Tellicherry, which was in north Malabar.

The second item was that in South Malabar, the major fear that caught them was the rising of the Mappilla population. However, the Mappilla populations there were actually the lower castes, mainly the Cherumar (very low caste) and the Makkathaya Thiyyas who had converted into Islam. This Mappilla outrages against the Nayars and the Brahmins have to be taken up separately.

The terrorising factor from the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas of North Malabar was mainly connected to a few common features of Malabar.

One was that the lower castes did not have dark-skin complexion in Malabar. In fact, many of them had very fair skin features.

Another connected factor was that there were at least a few Englishmen taking lower-class Thiyya women as their wife. Even though, many of the others of the local society, including the higher class Thiyyas would object to the use of the word ‘wife’ for them, the truth stands that these people to a great extent lived a family life raising good quality households and children. No one, not even the Thiyyas would like to see higher quality individuals sprouting up from amongst themselves. For, the language is totally hierarchical. It would be like in a modern Indian administration set up, finding a small percent of the peons have IAS level qualities, contacts and capacity for communication. This issue had sad side to it. However, that is not in context here.

The third utterly incorrigible item was the stark madness displayed by the English administration to spread ‘education’ and English skills in the newer generation of youngsters. From all perspectives, this was an utter foolish activity. From their own national interest point of view, it was an act of utter treachery towards their own country and countrymen. It was a rascal act of sponging out all the traditional knowledges, sciences, mathematics, skills, technical knowhow, technical terminologies, all kinds of experiences including that of maritime skills and trade-secrets and much else of England, and scattering it out into a number of population groups, whose real and innate mental disposition was not fully known or understood. The heights of these foolish were that of giving away their national language English to populations, which the moment they get the upper hand would show not even one iota of gratitude or remembrance of what had been given to them.

Here there is need for some information to be mentioned. Learning English is not like learning any feudal language. Learning English will liberate a person from various kinds of shackles, confinements and controls.

However, learning a language like Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu etc. would be equivalent to allowing others to tie up oneself and hand over rights of control and command to them, if one is in a lower position. This is a terrific information that is currently being withheld from all native-English nations. If this information is not discussed in native-English nations, the native populations of those nations will be in enslavement before long.

Fourth point is that the moment any Thiyya man or woman rises up in stature, above their own Thiyya others, there is no way to keep them down. The Nairs would find that they have to accept the risen-up Thiyya man as an equal first, and then later on as a superior. The terror in this total up-side-downing of roles cannot be understood in English.

When this happens, there is a terrible change of words, which connect to so many other verbal usages inside the feudal language. Since words are actually software code buttons or switches, this change can effect almost everyone in the connected social system. At every nook and corner, the relative stature and status of an immense number of persons will get affected.

The innumerable family relatives of the Thiyya man who has risen up would very quietly mention their connection to this man. The moment they mention this, the relative verbal codes for You, Your, Yours, He, His, Him, She, Her, Hers will change. The commander can very fast change into the commanded. And vice versa.

Image : Thiyya labour class female

It is like this. Two young men are accosted by an Indian police constable, on the roadside. The latter asks one of them a few questions. It is quite possible that he would use the lower indicant words for You, Your, Yours etc. And he would refer to his company with the lower indicant words for He, His, Him etc. (Eda, Inhi/Nee, Oan/Avan &c.)

Instead of answering the questions, one of the young men simply mentions that his father’s brother is the Police SP (District head of police) of the district. It is a very powerful input. Immediately the constable would have no other go other than to shift the verbal codes for You &c. and He &c. to a higher indicant word stature. (Ingal / Ningal / Saar).

In fact, he might even act a bit subservient and ‘respectful’.

Now, this is the kind of horrendous social restructuring that was in the offing. A single Thiyya man entering into the administrative positions as an officer could literally strew the social scene with an array of disorder and disorderly disconnections and connections.

The fifth issue was actually of more terror in content. It was the opening up of English schools in the Tellicherry area, and in some other locations in Malabar. In these places, some of the Thiyyas were able to admit their children. That more or less foreclosed the entry of Nair children in these schools. It might be true that some Nair children did join them. However, many kept away. The Nayar families which could afford it, sent their children to Calicut, to attend the school run by the erstwhile king of Calicut, meant only Hindu (Brahmin), Ambalavasi and Nayar children.

The issue that faced the Nayars would not be clearly understood by the English officials, who were under the foolish understanding that they knew everything better. That they understood the real calibre of the lower castes &c. The fact is that the higher castes were also quite aware that the lower castes had enough and more brains and skills for everything. And that exactly was the reason that the lower castes were put down terribly.

For instance, there is ample proof that the carpenters of the subcontinent were brilliant. However, to allow them any leeway to rise up in the social order to the extent that they can address the Nayar by name and by Inhi/Nee (lower or intimate level of You) would be suicidal. These kinds of freedoms are given to others only in foolish native-English nations. And that is why the native-English nations are heading for mass suicides.

It is good to improve lowly-placed populations and individuals. However, before doing that there is need to understand why these populations have been placed in lowly positions by their own native-land upper classes. Social Engineering has to be attempted only by those who know what is what.

Others like Abe Lincoln etc. enter like a fool into a location where only persons with extreme levels of information have the right to enter. And they create issues which the posterity will have to bear in terrible anguish.

There was an array of problems in allowing the lower-caste Thiyya children with the relatively higher-caste Nayar children. First and foremost was that a good percent of the Thiyyas were from the lower professional groups, like coconut climbers, agricultural workers, household servants etc. Even though their children would not be able to afford English education, the Thiyyas who could afford it would be connected to them.

A lower stature in caste hierarchy naturally has its affect on various human quality, including that of the quality of conversation, quality of words, quality of the human connections that frequently gets mentioned in conversations, the way other persons see the lower-caste children etc. The terror of the Nayars would be that everything that they can imagine as negative would be loaded on to their children if their children were to study in the same class and school as the Thiyya children.

Actually this is not a Hindu (Brahmin), upper-caste and Nayar caste mentality alone. In fact, the Muslims also did not want to send their children to school, where they would be forced to imbibe non-Islamic cultural items from their school-mates.

See this QUOTE: The scruples of the parents prevent them from permitting their children to attend the vernacular schools of the Hindus. A fairly successful attempt has however been made to reach them by giving grants to their own teachers on condition that they must show results END OF QUOTE

If one were to go into the interiors of this emotion, it would be seen that this terror is not connected actually to caste. For even now, parents who can afford a more expensive education for their children would strive to keep their children away from children whom they perceive as lower to them. The reader is requested not to immediately try to think that similar emotions are there in native-English nations. The reality in English nations cannot be taken up for any kind of comparison here. However, I will not go into the details of that here.

There is another emotional issue. The moment the Thiyyas get to feel a sort of equality with their immediate upper caste, the emotion that would spring forth from them would not be any kind of gratitude. Instead, the emotion would be for terrific vengeance and antipathy and competition and a desperation to show that they are better than the Nayars in everything.

At the same time, these Thiyyas would also try to keep the undeveloped Thiyyas at a distance as some kind of despicable beings. Nothing would be done in quite obvious ways. Everything would be by sly verbal codes, for which the local feudal language could give much facility.

The English-educated Thiyyas (high quality English education was dispensed at that time) would be of a softer mien. But then, as they improve, they would naturally and inadvertently be pulling up the other educated-in-vernacular Thiyyas. For even an uncle in the government service as an officer would give a huge social boost to a lower-level Thiyya. For even land-owner Nayars were working as Peons in the government sector.

And there is the fact mentioned by Edgar Thurston that there were many Marumakkathaya Thiyyas families in North Malabar and Makkathaya Thiyya families in South Malabar who were of sound social standing. I cannot mention more about this. However, he has mentioned something like Eight illams of the Thiyyas. What this is supposed to actually mean, I am unable to gather. However, in the Native Life in Travancore, it is seen that there is mention of the Ezhavas also claiming some kind of Illams. However, Pulayars and the Mukkuvars also are mentioned as having this verbal usage, ‘Illam’ (Source: Native Life in Travancore). At best, all this might be a desperate attempt to connect to the Brahmins, which is an emotion generally seen in many lower castes in the subcontinent.

See this quote from Native Life in Travancore: QUOTE: They broke into the houses of Brahmans and Nayars, carrying away their children and property, in excuse for which they pretended motives of revenge rather than interest, urging a tradition that they were once a division of the Brahmans, but entrapped into a breach of caste rules by their enemies making them eat beef. END OF QUOTE

With the setting up a reasonably stable social living, good quality administration, security to individuals, everyone getting the right to do business and to move goods to distant place, and judiciary to adjudicate civil disputes without giving any extra premium to any caste status, the social system was simply changing. As seen in this book itself, and very clearly mentioned in such books as Travancore State Manual etc., the period of continual warfare, battles, raiding, molesting, looting, plundering, enslaving and such other things had come to an end.

In the earlier periods, all towns and villages would turn into battlefield or areas through which totally uncontrolled fighters of some side would walk through. It goes without saying when such things happen, the peoples of the various castes tries to run off. However, many are caught and butchered. Many are taken as slaves to push the carts and make food and wash clothes etc. for the fighting persons. Women are generally forcibly fornicated in their houses. Some of them are taken as slaves or as woman to be kept as concubines by the individuals who are the leaders of the soldiers.

There was no one to appeal to.

However, as of now, everything had changed. There was quietude and time to ponder on a new terror for the Nayars. The higher castes like the Ambalavasis and the Brahmins would also be perturbed. But then, they were not the castes which were on direct competition with the Marumakkathaya Thiyyas.

The book, Malabar, is not a book written with an aim at misguiding the natives of the subcontinent. Such books are now published by the Indian and Pakistani governments. This book was written as a guide book for the English administrators to understand the land they were administering. It was here that the Nayars had to work strenuously to give an erroneous idea about the land. For, they had much interests to protect and may populations to keep down.

All over the book, they have mentioned that they are some kind of genteel people, yet, courageous fighters, whose families had the antiquity of great traditions, and that they were the protectors of the land and that they were in charge of some kind of law and order machinery.

Even though there might be some element of truth in some of these assertions, it would be quite a lie to say that they stood for any kind of social welfare activity. Their best intentions would be to see that the subordinated castes and classes remained suppressed.

However, they could not simply continue this system. For, the English rule had prospered. The only thing that they could do in North Malabar was to insist that the Thiyyas were more low-class than they actually were.

In fact, as seen in a quote from Travancore State Manual, with the establishment of the English rule in Travancore, the mental and cultural quality of the Nayars had improved from that of a rowdy population. They had become more softer and cultured.

The same thing must have been experienced by the Nayars of Malabar also. Especially those in North Malabar. In fact, it is a very obvious thing that people who live in close proximity with the native-English improve in quality and culture. [The reader should be very careful to note that the native-English are totally different from Continental Europeans. Please do not mix up these two totally different people groups into one group. Moreover, pristine-English population of yore was a totally different population from the current-day Multi-culture English.]

However, in Malabar this quality enhancement was not confined to the Nayars alone. It arrived into the households of a few Thiyyas also. Especially those around Tellicherry areas.

In fact, there would not be much to differentiate a Thiyya and a Nayar who are both well-educated in the high quality English schools of Tellicherry of those times. The difference would be felt only if the Nayar’s and Thiyya person’s traditional family relatives are brought into the comparison.

Even though, a Thiyya individual who had developed culturally via means of the English education he had received would not personally appear to be an intimidating entity, on the social horizon, this man’s existence would be giving a total uplift-ment to all the crass low-class Thiyya families who were from the labourer classes. The main content of this ‘crass low-class’ quality would be the lower indicant verbal definitions meant for them. However, the moment they rise up relatively, they would very forcefully assault and harass the Nayars with a simple flipping of the verbal codes. The Nayars who do feel or experience this flipping action would feel himself or herself or their own family members going for vertical flip-flop.

What the English administration was giving was equivalent to giving a gun to a team of mice, to accost the cats.

Till date the Thiyyas were like the herbivorous animals like the deer, wild-buffalos etc. They can be pounced upon by the carnivorous animals like the cheetah, tiger etc. Their horns which point in more or less useless directions were of no use against the wild beasts. However one fine morning they find that they have been given a very suitable weapon of offense. It goes without saying that they would become more or less trigger-happy when they see a wild beast, even if the beast has no inimical intentions.

Actually the wildest beastliness are in the language codes of the local languages. It is not an individual quality. All persons who get the ability to inflict harm on another competing entity or human will inflict the harm. That is the way the language codes of feudal language are designed.

Gullible native-Englishmen had no way to understand this inglorious secret, which is currently turning their own native-nations into wastelands.

This book, Malabar, is full of cunning verbal attacks on the Thiyyas. Nothing direct. And that is the wonderful part of it. Where these sly attacks have been done, even Logan would have simply shrugged his shoulders. However, in the areas where he has directly made the inputs, that is, in the history part connected to the records from the English East India Company’s Factory at Tellicherry, the hue and tone is different. The perspective is different. If one knows that there is something wrong with the book, then one would put one’s mind on noting these things. Then they would appear very clearly.

Others, who read this book as some kind of old history, will simply gulp down the sterile facts as if they are of resounding quality.

When speaking about knowing history or what took place, there are immense information that do not come inside formal textbooks. For one thing, academic history that comes out from 3rd world historians who reside inside their home nations are literally the mouthpieces of their national police indoctrinations. As to those from these nations who have relocated themselves into native-English nations, a good percentage of them simply retell the lies that they have been taught at home.

I can give several instances of information that might not appear in formal histories of India.

Take this instance: When speaking about the modern state of Kerala, there is not enough importance given to the ideas that Malabar and Travancore were totally disconnected political entities. English-ruled-Malabar had a bureaucratic apparatus which was run by officials who were quite good in English. The officialdom at the level of the officers were honest to a fault. This information I know personally, because one of my own family members was an officer in this Service. This Service was part of the Madras Presidency Civil Service and later of the Madras State Civil Service. In the earlier period of this Service, Travancore was a foreign kingdom. And later a neighbouring state called Travancore-Cochin State.

The Travancore officialdom was not run on English systems, even though at the top-levels English might have been used. The officials including the ‘officers’ were literally thieves. Beyond that they were most ruffians and rogues in all ways. The standard definition that they gave for the common man was ‘a donkey’.

In Malabar officialdom, everything was different. For instance, the members of the public were not to approach the peons and clerks for any office dealing. They had to approach the officers, who would assign their papers to the various clerks. The clerks would process the files and hand it over to the officer. The finished file/paper would be handed over back to the individual on the appointed day.

If a particular clerk is absent on any day, the officer would hand-over the file to another clerk. Or if that is not possible, the officer himself or herself would go through the file and have it ready for giving to the member of the public who had submitted the application.

Even in Malabar officialdom, the clerks and peons were not very good in English communication. If and when the member of the public approaches the clerk or the peon, they would most naturally try to dominate or distress the individual. For, that is the way the language codes are designed.

It was most probably for this very reason that the officers were made duty-bound to deal with the members of the public. The clerks and peons were merely workers inside the office, and had no power to take any decisions or to harass the public.

These kind of information do not usually come in formal histories, currently written by feebly-informed formal academicians.

The system of conducting a Civil Service exam by which youngsters, who were good in English but not necessarily from the high social-status families, could become officers was a novel idea in Malabar. However, there was a great pitfall in this. But then, the English officials foresaw the pitfall and took evasive action in a very intelligent manner, even though it is doubtful if they fully understood the pitfall.

One of the major issues of this kind of recruiting of individuals to position of officiating public offices is that the languages are feudal. The content of verbal ‘respect’ is required for that person to be able to manage the office and the subordinate clerks and peons. And to make the members of public feel that the government is of quality standards and has power and authority.

The respect in the local vernacular is connected to two basic items. One is ‘age’. The relatively younger individual has no right to claim ‘respect’ unless he or she is a higher-caste person. That means his words and actions are seen as of no consequence. Such an individual cannot run an office.

The reader has to bear in mind that the English rule was creating a new system of administration based on written codes of law. If the officers were seen as totally useless people, the administration would collapse.

The second item that was connected to spontaneous ‘respect’ was family status. Naturally this would mean that the highest posts should go to the Brahmins and then the next to the Ambalavasis and then to the Nayars.

The English-rule was trying to create something that had no likeness or sync to this system which had been the standards for centuries.

It must be mentioned here that the second item would override the first item, when both these items come to compete with each other. That is, if a higher-aged lower-caste man were to come in front of a lower-aged higher-caste man, the ‘respect’ is for the higher-caste younger-aged individual. The higher-aged lower-caste person would be addressed and also mentioned in the lower indicant words by the younger higher-caste person.

For instance, a higher caste 12 year old boy or girl would address a forty years old Thiyya man with a Inhi (Nee in Malayalam), and refer to him as an Oan (Avan in Malayalam).

A tumbling down of this system would not improve the situation. It would only change the individual positions. The higher-aged lower-caste man would address the younger-aged higher-caste boy with an ‘Inhi and refer to him as an Oan. This is not actually an improvement in the social order. Only a reversal of roles.

That is, the young-aged Nayar female in the image here would move from Ingal to Inhi, to a lower caste man, when the social structure tumbles. This is a terrifying event, for it connects to an immensity of other locations. Persons who thus find their ‘respect’ withdrawn will not come out of their residence.

However, what the English-rule attempted was the total abrogation and nullification of these satanic language systems. The satanic language in the location was something I would like to mention as Malabari. However, another satanic language called Malayalam was also entering into the location, desperately trying to replace Malabari and takeover. I will go into the competition between languages later.

When creating an administrative apparatus with youngsters getting recruited via means of an government recruitment Civil Service exam, the English administration did take quite efficient steps to see that only quality persons became Officers. This content of ‘Officers’ is something that has come to be missed in current-day India. No one seems to know the basic ideas of what it is to recruit ‘Officers’.

The major item is that Officers are Gentlemen. The word Gentlemen is not what it means in the native languages of the subcontinent. The word Gentlemen as understood in English is connected to a lot of sublime human qualities as seen in pristine-English. His behaviour to others should be gentlemanly and he should be chivalrous. A person who uses lower indicant words to the common man is not a gentleman. Nor can he be mentioned as an ‘Officer’. From this perspective, not many of the current-day ‘officers’ of India are actually ‘officers’. They are mere brutes in the attire of ‘officers’.

Good quality companies recruit their staff, based on individual quality. So that inside their office and working areas, the individuals in a particular work-location would have similar or same individual dispositions.

However, in current-day India, the ‘officer’ exam is simply like a marathon race. Anyone with some stamina can get in. There is no need for any ‘Officer’ quality. Even an individual fit for rowdy-work can get in, if he or she has the stamina. However, the system is quite rude within itself and individuals cannot be blamed.

When a youngster of around 23 years, with no outstanding family background is positioned as an Officer, with a number of subordinates under him or her, who could be from higher status families or castes, and possibly of more age, the system will not work in the feudal language and the prevalent social system. The subordinates would very spontaneously use the word ‘Oan’ (Avan in Malayalam – lowest ‘he’) or ‘Oal’ (Aval in Malayalam – lowest ‘she’) when referring to their officer. That itself will spell doom to the system.

Beyond this, the members of the public will also look down at the young man or woman from a feeble family status sitting at the officer’s table. They too would not get to feel any hallowed feeling with regard to government functioning. In a feudal language system this is an essential item for the machinery to work. The way then to gather respect is to terrorise and create hurdles of the person who comes to the office. However that would not be an English administration then.

However, the English administration did understand the issue. The solution they found out was this. The officers would be quite good in English. The administration and the office functioning would be in English.

I have personally seen in my childhood young Officers of the erstwhile Madras State Civil Service, after opting for Kerala Service with the formation of Kerala, functioning in an English communication mode. They would address their senior-in-age subordinate clerks with a Mr. or Mrs. prefixed to their names. So that the local language issue of senior-in-age becoming a Chettan or Chechi to the officers was circumvented. If this had been allowed, a sort of double, mutually opposite hierarchy in communication would exist inside the office.

The second thing that the English administration did was to keep a pedestal-like platform for the chief officer in an office to place his or her seat. This more or less lifted them up above the others. Yet, this was not to add to the feudalism in communication. For, it was pristine-English in its most stern form that was upholding the government office functioning.

This wooden stage for the young officers to sit could be seen in such places as Sub Registrars office, Tahsildar’s office etc. As of now, in Malabar, this stage like seating arrangement was adding to the feudal hierarchy of feudal language officialdom that is now in vogue in Malabar.

I am not sure how it was in the government offices in Travancore Kingdom. I do not think this kind of physical lifting was necessary. For, the ‘officers’ there were recruited on the basis of their family stature. So a government office was just a mere reflection of the various terrible hierarchies already there in the kingdom.

In English-ruled Malabar, the offices were locations where the social feudalism and hierarchies went into disarray. This was one major difference between English ruled-Malabar and Travancore. It may be correct to say that this would have been the correct difference between the English-ruled locations everywhere in the subcontinent and where the local rajas ruled.

Formal history writers may not know much about these slender and yet quite powerful items.

Actually in the book, Malabar, there is not much information on the various Civil Service exams that had been initiated by the English rule. As to what it consisted of, I can base on only from my own family member’s exam.

I had found that the officer classes of the Malabar district of those days were extremely well-read in English Classics, good in English speaking, and stood as a group which was incorruptible. Moreover, they were not ready to use lower indicant words about or to a member of the public. However, when I came to interact with the members of the Travancore officials way back in 1970s onwards, I saw that the ‘officers’ there were low-class individuals who used totally bad indicant words about the common man. Most of them used words like Avan (lowest he/ him), Aval (lowest she/her) about them, with no qualms at all.

These words do contain the power of hammering, and the sharpness of a poking spear.


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